4 min read
After a two-year hiatus, the Laver Cup is back with Team World and Team Europe set to face off in Boston this weekend. It’s the fourth edition of the team competition, and although the most prominent names, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal, are missing from the lineup this year, the teams are stacked with star power.
The event, created by Federer and his agency Team8, has a unique format. Each team has six players and a team captain (for Europe, it’s Bjorn Borg, and for Team World, it’s John McEnroe). Played across three days, the first two days include a day and night session, while the final day on Sunday has just a day session. Each day features three singles and one doubles match, and each day the points per match increase in value (each match is one point on Friday, two on Saturday, and three on Sunday).
The first team to 13 points wins, and in the past three editions of the event, Team Europe has won every time. Will this year be Team World’s chance to win? Universal Tennis INSIGHTS* will be helping us break down the teams and matchups.
Let’s take a closer look at the teams:
Daniil Medvedev (UTR Rating 16.08)
(UTR Rating 16.04)
(UTR Rating 16.00)
Matteo Berrettini (UTR Rating 15.82)
(UTR Rating 15.65)
(UTR Rating 15.59)
Based purely on UTR Ratings, Team Europe has the obvious advantage with three players in the 16's range compared to 0 of Team World's members breaking past the 15's. The highest-rated Team World player is Shapovalov at 15.62 which is just barely above the lowest-rated player on Team Europe (Ruud).
Friday's Order of Play
The first singles match will see Ruud take on Opelka, followed by Berrettini playing Auger-Aliassime. Berrettini and Auger-Aliassime have split their two meetings this year but Berrettini has the UTR Rating edge at +0.34. His win probability according to INSIGHTS is 69%.
Opelka could challenge Ruud given that the 24-year-old has been on a hot streak this summer, cracking the ATP Top 20 to become the highest-ranked American. He did lose to Ruud in Cincinnati after his breakthrough at the ATP Masters 1000 in Toronto. According to INSIGHTS' head-to-head prediction tool, Opelka's odds of beating the Norweigian are 38%.
The night match will showcase World No. 5 Rublev against 29-year-old Schwartzman. The two haven’t faced each other in over four years when Schwartzman won a 9-7 fifth set at Roland Garros. Per INSIGHTS, Rublev is favored to win at 63% with a higher UTR Rating, higher three-month Trending UTR Rating, and higher Hard UTR Rating, as well as a better record versus common opponents.
The 2021 Laver Cup begins on Friday at 1 p.m. EST with the final, featuring one doubles match followed by three singles matches, set for Sunday starting at 12 p.m. EST.
•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 9 a.m. EST, Sept. 24, 2021.