Canada’s Milos Raonic fell just short for Team World on Sunday afternoon at Laver Cup in Geneva, losing a tense 6-4, 3-6, [10-4] decision to Alexander Zverev and handing Team Europe its third consecutive title in the three-year history of the innovative team competition.
Raonic has been out of competition since a second-round retirement at Rogers Cup in Montreal, and the rust showed early on against the German wunderkind. He kept the score tight with Zverev until the ever-important seventh game of the first set, where an ill-advised net approaches ultimately giving Team Europe the advantage early on.
The Canadian would rally in the second set, however, finding his range on his serve and dictating more effectively with his forehand. Saving multiple break points in the final game of set, Raonic fired an ace to level proceedings and set Team World – comprised of compatriot Denis Shapovalov; Americans Taylor Fritz, Jack Sock and John Isner, and mercurial Aussie Nick Kyrgios – just one match tiebreak away from a historic first Laver Cup title.
Milos Raonic takes it to the edge! #LaverCup 2019 will be decided by a match tiebreak as the Canadian levels the match with Zverev at 4-6, 6-3 with his 15th ace.#TeamWorld is 10 points away from its first title. pic.twitter.com/1YzTbaNRZY
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) September 22, 2019
In the end, it wasn’t to be for Team World, as Zverev – backed by a stacked Team Europe featuring the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – saved his best for last. He rifled winner after winner as Raonic, who fell to 0-2 in his singles matches this week, was passed at the net one last time to surrender the win to Team Europe in front of an electric Geneva crowd.
Raonic, along with Shapovalov, will next head to Asia to scrape together crucial points as the 2019 ATP Tour season winds to a close.
(Photo: Getty/US Open)