The first ever Laver Cup got underway in Prague on Friday afternoon, as Team Europe won the exhibition’s first two matches thanks to Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem.
The Laver Cup consists of six European players taking on six players from the rest of the world. Played over three days, each day consists of four matches, three singles and one doubles, with the matches being best of three sets. If a match goes to a third set, it will be determined by a 10-point tiebreaker.
To open up play, Croatia’s Marin Cilic took on Frances Tiafoe of the United States. The former U.S. Open champion edged the American in two tiebreakers, putting Team World ahead with a 7-6(3), 7-6(3) victory.
“For me, [it] was definitely great to start and to open with Frances this event, especially that we played [a] very solid match, very good level,” said Cilic. “I hope also that the crowd enjoyed, and definitely, for me, I’m very happy that I brought the first point for our team.”
In the next match, Dominic Thiem of Austria came back to beat John Isner. The American won a thrilling first-set tiebreaker 17-15, but Thiem responded by winning the second set in a tiebreaker. Thiem would edge Isner in the third-set tiebreaker 10-7 to notch the victory and bolster the Team World lead.
Friday’s night session will see Germany’s Alex Zverev play Denis Shapovalov as the Canadian looks to get Team World on the board. The final match will be a doubles contest, as Tomas Berdych and Rafael Nadal of Team Europe take on Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock of Team World.