Shapovalov, Isner Ready To Shock Federer, Nadal & Team Europe
Team World is 0-2 against Team Europe in Laver Cup competitions. But John Isner and Denis Shapovalov are hardly ready to cave before the third edition of the team event starts on Friday in Geneva.
#NextGenATP Canadian Shapovalov, who played in the 2017 Laver Cup in Prague, likes Team World's chances, despite its heavy underdog status.
“We're going up against the best players in the world, and they've got a super strong team. It's definitely going to be a tough challenge for us, but I really think if we all work together, if we all get to play our best tennis, we have a chance to win,” Shapovalov said.
Team Europe boasts six of the top eleven players in the ATP Rankings, whereas Team World is led by No. 20 John Isner. But the big-serving American, along with his captain, John McEnroe, can't wait for the action to begin.
“It's fantastic to be back again. We're just excited to get going on Friday. We know the atmosphere is going to be amazing. It has been the last two years. Can't describe how fun it is to play on that court,” Isner said. “We are very good friends and we have a lot of fun with this. It's just so much fun to compete in this environment.”
McEnroe, who's in his third year of captaincy, said he's feeling the pressure to pull off the upset. “I'm on the hot seat, I would think. So definitely feel some pressure, but it's good pressure,” he said.
But the former World No. 1 and 77-time tour-level titlist said his team, after having close calls in past years, will carry confidence into the three-day event.
“I think the format suits our guys. We are obviously big underdogs but we have been close, very close. So we feel confident that we can pull off an upset,” he said. “Hopefully we'll get off to a little bit better start than we did the first couple of years and the first few days we will be in a better position.”
Shapovalov kicks off the 2019 Laver Cup against No. 5 Dominic Thiem at 1 p.m. local time, followed by Team World's Jack Sock against Team Europe's Fabio Fognini.
In the night session, which begins at 7 p.m. local time, Europe's Stefanos Tsitsipas meets World's Taylor Fritz, and Roger Federer/Alexander Zverev, for Team Europe, will face Shapovalov/Sock to end Day 1.