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Federer wins doubles with Zverev, Europe leads in Laver Cup

Roger Federer teamed up with Alexander Zverev in doubles to lift Europe into a commanding 3-1 lead over the world team on the first day of the Laver Cup on Friday.

Federer, who has an Olympic gold medal in doubles, and Zverev won 6-3, 7-5 against Jack Sock and Denis Shapovalov as the Europeans swept the two-match evening session. The afternoon singles matches were split at the noisy, 17,000-seat Palexpo arena.

The six-man Europe team has a big advantage in ATP rankings, and No. 5 Dominic Thiem started the day by beating the 33rd-ranked Shapovalov 6-4, 5-7, 13-11. Decisive third sets are played as super-tiebreakers.

Team World's Captain John McEnroe, front, gestures after his team lost the opening match against Team Europe at the Laver Cup tennis event in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Martial TrezziniKeystone via AP)

Sock, whose rankings fell into the 200s in an injury-hit season, then leveled the three-day event by winning 6-1, 7-6 (3) against No. 11 Fabio Fognini.

Europe, captained courtside by Bjorn Borg, regained the lead when No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas won 6-2, 1-6, 10-7 against 30th-ranked Taylor Fritz for the world team led by John McEnroe.

Federer is back on court before another sold-out crowd Saturday, when Rafael Nadal will also play singles for Europe.

From left, Team Europe's Captain Bjoern Borg, Fabio Fognini, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer speak during Fognini's match against Team World's Jack Sock at the Laver Cup tennis event, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Martial TrezziniKeystone via AP)

Victories Saturday in the three singles matches and one doubles are worth two points each. Sunday's matches are worth three points each and 13 points are needed to lift the title.

Europe seeks a third straight win in the Laver Cup, which is co-owned by Federer. It was launched two years ago in Prague, then moved to Chicago last year.

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Team Europe's Roger Federer, left, and Alexander Zverev play against Team World's Denis Shapovalov and Jack Sock at the Laver Cup tennis event, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Martial TrezziniKeystone via AP)