Canada’s Milos Raonic (No. 24) was unable to pull Team World level in the Laver Cup standings as he was beaten 6-3, 7-6(1) by Spain’s Rafael Nadal (No. 2) of Team Europe. The result means the hosts are now up 7-3 at the conclusion of singles action on Saturday.

Raonic began the first set strongly, using his powerful serve to keep Nadal at arm’s length. However, the Canadian was unable to capitalize on any of eight early break point opportunities and was made to pay by his Spanish opponent. Despite holding two break points on his own serve, Raonic couldn’t deny Nadal at the third time of asking.

The 33-year-old, reigning US Open champion smacked a fierce backhand beyond Raonic’s reach after the Canadian had come to the net in the hope of maintaining a resilient defence. From there, Nadal made no mistake in seeing out the first set, breaking Raonic again to claim it 6-3.

The second set started evenly until Raonic made the first move. The Canadian had held his serve at break point in the previous game to make it 2-2 before battling to break Nadal and take an early lead.

But Raonic’s advantage would be short-lived. Nadal, keen to make amends, broke back immediately to level things up and the set would eventually go to a tiebreak. It was then that the Spaniard really turned on the afterburners, going on to win the best-of-seven pointer whilst conceding just one point to Raonic.

Nadal’s victory means he now leads the Canadian 8-2 in their head-to-head series. The Spaniard will now team up with Greece’s Stafanos Tsitsipas to take on Australia’s Nick Kyrgios and the United States’ Jack Sock in doubles play later this afternoon.

(Feature photo: Laver Cup)