Casper Ruud gave Team Europe their first points of the Laver Cup 2022, but pushed him farther than many expected thanks to a performance against Jack Sock’s ranking in Team World.
Ruud recorded a 6-4 5-7 10-7 victory in 1 hour 47 minutes, but faced the very real prospect of defeat early in the match tie-break. Sock has often played far better than his Tour form would suggest, and after a dismal start his 128th-ranked American has taken the world by storm with timely net rushes and exquisite drop shots. It hurt my confidence in second place.
As Sock entered the game, so did Team World’s players. A well-formed Francis Tiafoe raced twice from the bench to a high-fived Sox after a point of excitement, and early in the second set, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Taylor Fritz saw the Soc do Rude. After anticipating a crosscourt, tasked with holding back Tiafoe from encroaching on another court, he hits a refreshing winner with a volley.
“It’s one of the things we do better than them,” Sock said after the game. [Team Europe], but there is a great spirit in our team and that’s another reason why this got away all the more poignant. ”
After the first three games quickly went to route, Sock looked out from his depths. The Norwegian broke in the second game, and Sock’s big serve and heavy topspin forehand didn’t hurt the US Open runner-up. At 3-0, the American humiliation could not be eliminated.
But Sock combined his big arsenal to hold serve and from there he grew into the match. ambushed and backed them up with great anticipation. But he couldn’t keep it up and Ruud broke in the next game, taking the set in 40 minutes.
Ruud appeared to attack several times in the second set, and Sock’s serve put him 5-4, 15-30, two points away from victory. However, the Sock has hurt Ruud’s confidence in his backhand. The Norwegian made more and more errors and had a poor eleventh game that broke the route. Sock served the set and after 91 minutes the match was all square.
An upset was in the cards as Sock led the match tiebreak 3–0, but Ruud cut an error and scored the next six points. The key point for Ruud was only to see the ball hit the netcord and return to his side when Sock made a late decision to enter the net and attempted a subtle angled drop volley. It should have been 7-7 and suddenly it was 8-6. Moments later, the Socks, with Ruud off his feet, sealed the win, giving Europe a 1–0 lead in the 12-game series.
Ruud admitted he was “nervous at first” in an on-court interview, and admits his straight-set win over Riley Opelka in last year’s Laver Cup opener in Boston gave him a lot of confidence. I was. “This match is over with a few points,” he said.
Sock said, “I continue to be underrated. Despite what my ranking says, I still feel like I’m a pretty good tennis player. I finished second in the world in a 10-7 tiebreaker.” defeated.”
Sock returns to Friday night’s session to partner Francis Tiafoe against Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Sock said he and Tiafoe would “win or lose, give Federer his moment and give him a big hug at the end”, but despite the enormity of the situation, the team He argued that the Worlds pair weren’t all that competitive.