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Five things to know about Laver Cup: Most wins, most titles, iconic doubles teams and more
Get ready for the sixth edition of the event, which begins this week in Vancouver.
Published Sep 20, 2023
A star-studded field will descend on Vancouver this week for the Laver Cup, a team event that began in 2017 and will see its sixth edition take place in the beautiful west coast Canadian city this year.
From which teams and players have had the most success to some of the iconic doubles pairings that have taken the court at the event over the years, here are five things to know about the Laver Cup:
1. The man with the most Laver Cup titles may not be who you think it is
Roger Federer is synonymous with Laver Cup—he and his management team were part of the group that created the event, and the 20-time Grand Slam champion is also one of the most successful players in the event’s history, being a part of three winning teams in 2017, 2018 and 2019. But Alexander Zverev was also on those three teams, and while Federer had to miss the 2021 event due to a knee injury, Zverev played in 2021—and won his fourth Laver Cup title that year.
After Zverev (four) and Federer (three), there are three more players with two Laver Cup titles on their resume: Rafael Nadal (2017 and 2019), Dominic Thiem (2017 and 2019) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (2019 and 2021).
2. Team Europe dominated until the last day of last year’s event
The European squad won the first four editions in a row, the first three being relatively competitive with 15-9, 13-8 and 13-11 scorelines, before blowing Team World out of the water in 2021, 14-1. John Isner and Denis Shapovalov’s doubles victory over Zverev and Matteo Berrettini on the opening night turned out to be their only win that year.
And Europe seemed headed for their fifth straight title in 2022 as they built an 8-4 lead heading into the last day of play, but then Team World came alive. First, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock defeated Berrettini and Andy Murray in doubles to close to 7-8, then Auger-Aliassime upset Novak Djokovic to put Team World ahead 10-8, then Frances Tiafoe upset Tsitsipas to go up 13-8 and clinch the title.
3. Laver Cup has been the site of some iconic all-Big 3 doubles teams
The Big 3 have had their share of doubles success over the years, including Olympic gold medals for Federer and Nadal with other players, but they’ve rarely, if ever, played doubles with each other.
But it’s been a different story at Laver Cup.
Federer and Nadal have only ever played doubles together twice and both times were at Laver Cup. They won their first match together in Prague in 2017, defeating Sock and Sam Querrey, 6-4, 1-6, 10-5, and then joined forces again last year for Federer’s last career match, where they held a match point at 9-8 in the match tie-break but ultimately fell to American pair Sock and Tiafoe, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 11-9.
Federer and Djokovic have only ever played doubles together once and that was at Laver Cup too, in Chicago in 2018, falling to American-South African duo Sock and Kevin Anderson, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 10-6.
For the record, Nadal and Djokovic have only played doubles together once, at the Masters 1000 event in Canada in 2010. They fell first round to Canadians Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic, 5-7, 6-3, 10-8.
4. Federer and Zverev are tied for most singles wins in Laver Cup history
Both of them have six, and while Zverev’s record is almost flawless, Federer’s is actually flawless—the Swiss was 6-0 in his career with three wins over Nick Kyrgios, two against Isner and one against Querrey. Zverev is 6-1 with two wins (and one loss) against Isner, and one win against each of Querrey, Shapovalov, Anderson and Raonic.
Tsitsipas has the next-most career singles wins with three (3-1 overall).
5. Sock has the most doubles wins—and total wins—in Laver Cup history
The American was a sparkling 9-3 in doubles at the event, and even more impressively his nine wins came with five different partners: three with Isner, three with Kyrgios and one with each of Anderson, Auger-Aliassime and Tiafoe. Isner (4-1) has the next-most doubles wins.
Bonus fact: Sock is the only player ever to have beaten an all-Big 3 doubles team more than once: he beat Federer and Djokovic in 2018 (playing with Anderson) and Federer and Nadal in 2022 (with Tiafoe).
Sock is also the only player in Laver Cup history with double digit wins in singles and doubles combined, with 10 (9-3 in doubles, 1-3 in singles).