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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday September 23, 2023

Shelton and Auger-Aliassime

Ben Shelton and Felix Auger-Aliassime took down Gael Monfils and Hubert Hurkacz to give Team World a 10-2 lead.

Photo Source: Laver Cup/Getty

Team World continued its winning ways on Saturday at Laver Cup, winning three of four matches to open up a commanding 10-2 lead heading into Sunday.

Tennis Express

Team World got singles victories from Taylor Fritz (d. Rublev 6-2, 7-6(3) and Frances Tiafoe (d. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3) before Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton toppled Gael Monfils and Hubert Hurkaz 7-5, 6-4 to move within one victory of locking up this year’s Laver Cup.

The only blemish for Team World on Saturday was Casper Ruud’s victory over Tommy Paul (7-6(6), 6-2) but it didn’t dampen spirits for John McEnroe’s team, which is trying to record back-to-back Laver Cup crowns for the first time.

“I mean, in the position we're in, because this week is the first time we have ever been in the lead, so this is sort of a new feeling for us,” McEnroe said on Saturday night.

“We've got to take advantage of this now, and so I think these guys are getting it, because I think in a couple of years, I mean, obviously next year it's going to be a different story. We'll be back in Europe. A couple of guys, Carlos, if he plays, it will be obviously a different story right off the bat. So we've got to take advantage of this opportunity and get some momentum.”

Team World has all the momentum now, after a night session that featured sterling performances from Tiafoe, who sparkled against Hurkacz, and Auger-Aliassime and Shelton, who jelled quickly and played smashmouth doubles to increase the lead.

“When you play someone as locked in as Felix, he definitely keeps me in line on the court. He's a leader out there, and I enjoy a lot playing with him,” Shelton said.

“I love to see guys who love competing and are happy to be out there and they bring this good energy,” Auger-Aliassime added. “He's focused, he's driven. You were saying, like, it's been an incredible month for him, but it feels like he's been there for longer than a couple of months. Feels like he belongs and he acts that way.”

Despite the fact that both sets had tense moments, it felt like the Canadian-American pairing were in control throughout. Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz broke open the opening set by taking the final two games. They then broke for 4-3 in the second set and hung on for the victory, locking it up with Shelton serving, as they converted their fifth match point.

Doubles kicks things off on Sunday, with Frances Tiafoe and Shelton taking on Hurkacz and Andrey Rublev.

All matches are worth three points, and the first team with 13 points wins.

It will be over if Team World can win. If not we follow the below OOP:


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