(Reuters) – Dominic Thiem and Jack Sock won their singles matches as Team Europe and Team World shared the spoils in the day session on the first day of the Laver Cup in Geneva on Friday.
Team Europe struck first as Austrian Thiem beat Canada’s Denis Shapovalov 6-4 5-7 13-11, saving three match points in the super tiebreak — a race to 10 points when the match goes into a third set.
“It’s a really special thing with the tiebreak in the third,” Thiem said. “It creates lots of close moments and match points on either side. It’s also a little bit of luck at the end.”
Thiem, ranked fifth in the world, needed only one break of serve to take the opening set, but the 20-year-old Shapovalov fought back to break twice in the second set to tie the game at one set apiece.
The young Canadian led 9-7 in the tiebreak before squandering his match points as Thiem clawed his way back to win the contest on his second match point.
In the second singles match, American Sock prevailed in straight sets over Italian Fabio Fognini, winning 6-1 7-6(3) in 89 minutes.
Fognini failed to convert any of his six break points in the match as Sock won five games in a row to take the opening set.
Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, with a total of 39 Grand Slams between them, gave Fognini plenty of advice during breaks in play as the second set went with serve until the tiebreak.
Sock came away victorious after Fognini double-faulted at 3-5 before the Italian made a backhand error to give Team World their first point.
“We should have won the first match, so we needed to bounce back,” Team World Captain John McEnroe said. “Jack played awesome, he took it to Fabio. He’s a great ball striker. We feel great right now.”
The evening session will feature Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas taking on American Taylor Fritz in the third singles match before Federer and Alexander Zverev team up for Europe in the doubles against Shapovalov and Sock.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)