London: World No 2 Casper Ruud ensured Team Europe made a winning start at the Laver Cup on Friday, when he edged Team World’s Jack Sock 6-4, 5-7, 10-7 in the first match of the three-day event, here.
The Norwegian, who won his only clash at the tournament last year, quickly found his range on the hard courts.
The 23-year-old struck his groundstrokes with consistency during the first set as he outlasted the American in the longer exchanges. He then recovered from a dip in the late stages of the second set, holding his nerve in the Match Tie-break to triumph after one hour and 49 minutes in their first ATP Head to Head meeting.
The World No 2 has now won eight of his past nine matches after advancing to his second Grand Slam final at the US Open earlier this month.
Captain Bjorn Borg is aiming to guide Team Europe to its fifth consecutive Laver Cup title against Team World’s John McEnroe side this week in the UK capital.
Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas will look to extend Team Europe’s lead when he faces Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the second match of the day session.
Later, Roger Federer will play his final tour-level match when he takes to court with Spaniard Rafael Nadal in doubles. The Swiss-Spaniard tandem will face Team World’s Sock and Frances Tiafoe following the conclusion of Andy Murray’s match against Alex de Minaur.