Laver Cup 2021 Betting Preview, Odds, History and Breakdown

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Credit: Alex Burstow, Getty. Team Europe poses with the 2019 Laver Cup trophy.

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Rarely is tennis a team sport, but this weekend it will be. Tennis’ version of the Ryder Cup will be held on the same dates as its golf predecessor, with a similar format.

The tournament is one of the most unique events that the sport has to offer, and while the three biggest stars won’t be attending, there will be plenty of familiar faces in Boston’s TD Garden.

Here’s what to look out for when Team Europe takes on Team World in one of the most underrated stops on the modern tennis calendar.

What is the Laver Cup?

An event introduced in 2017, the Laver Cup is unquestionably molded by the structure of the Ryder Cup. Due to the structure of tennis, though, the teams are different.

Rather than Team Europe versus Team USA, the Laver Cup features Team Europe versus Team World. This makes sense, as Europeans have won the previous 47 men’s singles Grand Slam titles. The last non-European to win one was Juan Martin Del Potro at the 2009 US Open.

Roger Federer and his management team TEAM8 spearheaded the creation of the event, named after Australian legend Rod Laver. The scoring is a bit different than regular ATP events, as players engage in three set matches with a catch: if the match reaches a deciding set, it’s ended with a 10-point tiebreak, creating intense moments.

Additionally, each member of the winning team earns $250,000, nearly $100,000 more than Jannik Sinner earned for his runner-up finish at the Miami Masters in 2021, to put the amount into context.

Federer himself featured in the deciding match of the inaugural event, beating Nick Kyrgios in a thrilling 10-point tiebreak in which he saved a match point. The 2017 iteration of the tournament set the tone for a competition that is to be fiercely competitive and taken very seriously by the players.

@NickKyrgios shares his top Laver Cup moments. Episode 3: #PragueDecidingMatch pic.twitter.com/Uz79Fl8o0u

— Laver Cup (@LaverCup) September 18, 2021

Laver Cup 2021 Dates and Location

The event will be held in Boston at the TD Garden, spanning from September 24 to September 26. In 2022, the Laver Cup will be held at the O2 Arena in London. It has previously been held in Prague (2017), Chicago (2018) and Geneva (2019).

For American viewers, the event can be viewed on the Tennis Channel. Fans from all other countries can be directed here.

Laver Cup History

Team Europe has thoroughly dominated the event, winning all 3 titles since the event’s inception in 2017. There was no Laver Cup in 2020 due to the implications of COVID-19.

Whether it be due to the level of players competing, the 10-point third set tiebreaker or the intensity of the Laver Cup, this event consistently features phenomenal matches.

As noted above, a wild battle between Federer and Kyrgios capped off the tournament in 2017, but the event also featured an equally fascinating match where John Isner beat Rafael Nadal.

In 2018, Team Europe took home the crown 13-8, facing little resistance from Team World. Nevertheless, an incredibly fun Djokovic/Federer doubles pairing competed for the Europeans, and a tight match between Kevin Anderson and Alex Zverev sealed a second title for Team Europe.

The last edition of the Laver Cup saw Team World have its best chance at glory, as Milos Raonic took on Zverev in a winner take all match. Once again, Zverev was able to show his guts and get Europe to the finish line.

One of the more compelling moments of the match and tournament actually occurred off the court, as fans got to hear Federer and Nadal coach Zverev prior to the third set breaker. Hearing players coach each other is a unique aspect we get at the Laver Cup, making it all the more intriguing.

2021 Team Members

Team Europe will have a big edge in talent on paper once more this year despite not having any “Big 3” members, as all 6 regulation players are in the top 10 of the ATP rankings. Bjorn Borg will coach the team as he has in the past.

Player Country ATP Rank
Daniil Medvedev Russia 2
Stefanos Tsitsipas Greece 3
Alexander Zverev Germany 4
Andrey Rublev Russia 5
Matteo Berrettini Italy 7
Casper Ruud Norway 10
Feliciano Lopez (Alt.) Spain 110

Team World will be led by John McEnroe again and will have some massive serving firepower to utilize. However, the highest ranked player on the team is 11th in the world.

Player Country ATP Rank
Felix Auger-Aliassime Canada 11
Denis Shapovalov Canada 12
Diego Schwartzman Argentina 15
Reilly Opelka USA 19
John Isner USA 22
Nick Kyrgios Australia 95
Jack Sock (Alt.) USA 164

Betting Odds and Format

While most U.S. sportsbooks don’t have the event available for wagering yet, many European books do, with odds following a similar trend in years prior, having Team Europe -400 with Team World +300.

Year Opening Odds Score
2017 Team Europe -450 / Team World +340 Europe 15-9
2018 Team Europe -400 / Team World +300 Europe 13-8
2019 Team Europe -400 / Team World +300 Europe 13-11

Look for odds to be released in America as the week moves on, but value isn’t present for either squad in this format either way. Instead, you’re much better off evaluating individual matchups and finding opportunities there, as you would in a normal tennis tournament. With the scoring format the way it is,  upsets are more possible than regular events due to the lack of a full third set.

If you’re going to watch or bet on any tennis for the rest of the year, this is going to be one of the most fun chances you have to do it.

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