Shelton/Tiafoe Clinch Team World’s Laver Cup Victory
Ben Shelton and Frances Tiafoe put the finishing touches on Team World’s convincing Laver Cup victory Sunday.
The Americans held their nerve to defeat Team Europe’s Hubert Hurkacz and Andrey Rublev 7-6(4), 7-6(5) and secure the Laver Cup 13-2, claiming the event for the second consecutive year. The Vancouver crowd was treated to exciting rallies, with both teams demonstrating quick reflexes and deft touch in the forecourt throughout the one-hour, 37-minute clash.
Shelton and Tiafoe relied on their firepower and were dominant on serve, winning 40 of their 48 first-serve points to clinch the title. A key moment came when Shelton and Tiafoe won three consecutive points from 4/5 in the second-set tie-break to close the match.
“It’s been crazy for me and I’ve enjoyed being in a team environment,” Shelton said. “I’ve enjoyed playing for Johnny Mac. Team World really brought the energy this week. It’s easy for me to play when I’m amped up and hyped and the bench has done a great job of hyping me up all week. I hope I’ve done a good job of hyping them up too. Playing with Frances speaks for itself, easiest guy to play with, most fun guy to be on court with.”
Tiafoe said, “Being a part of it last year and clinching it last year was so emotional, first time. John [McEnroe[ was super excited. Now, being able to do it again in doubles with Ben was a lot of fun.”
Led by captain John McEnroe, Team World has now won the past two editions of the Laver Cup after falling in the first four.
“It felt unbelievable to kick their a** baby!” McEnroe said. “They kicked ours many times. It was a battle to the end when we won last year and we came in, great team spirit, good combination of youth and experience. I felt it from the word go and we stepped up. I thought all the guys played great.”