TENNIS UPDATE • EUROPE WINS INAUGURAL LAVER CUP AS ROGER FEDERER WINS CLINCHING POINT AGAINST KYRGIOS

Written by: on 24th September 2017
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Laver Cup tennis tournament
TENNIS UPDATE • EUROPE WINS INAUGURAL LAVER CUP AS ROGER FEDERER WINS CLINCHING POINT AGAINST KYRGIOS

epa06224911 Swiss player Roger Federer holds a trophy as he celebrates with members of the Team Europe winning the Laver Cup tennis tournament in Prague, Czech Republic, 24 September 2017. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK  |

By Ricky Dimon

 

Everything the inaugural Laver Cup touched turned to gold during three memorable days at the O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. The same can be said of Roger Federer.

 

In a competitive, fun, emotional, and countless-other-adjectives team event, Federer compiled a 3-0 record–all on the final two days–and won the clinching point in a thrilling singles match against Nick Kyrgios as Team Europe held off Team Europe by a total of 15 points to nine on Sunday evening. The 36-year-old propelled the Europeans past the finish line by edging Kyrgios 4-6, 7-6(6), 11-9.

 

A contest that saw both men win a total of 86 points came down to nothing more than a pair of tiebreakers. In the second-set ‘breaker, Kyrgios–who recovered from a break down to force it–saved three set points before losing it. It was Federer’s turn to stage a comeback in the super-’breaker. The world No. 2 fought off one match point and then clinched his first chance when Kyrgios netted a forehand at 9-10.

 

Team World gave itself a chance by taking two of the first three matches, as John Isner and Jack Sock beat Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych in doubles before Isner upset Rafael Nadal 7-5, 7-6(1) to set the stage of Federer vs. Kyrgios. With each match counting three points on Sunday, a victory by the 22-year-old Australian would have locked things up at 12-12 and forced a winner-take-all doubles showdown.

 

“I was ready to go; I had to be,” Federer commented. “That’s what a team member does. The boys played fantastic all weekend, but we knew it could change very quickly on Sunday. The Team World boys have been great–in the doubles especially–and we knew it was going to be tough. I was looking at getting ready for a doubles (match) at the very end. I’m very pleased and relived that we did win the singles and got it done.”

 

“It was tough”, Kyrgios admitted. “When I’m playing for myself, sometimes I don’t put the greatest effort in. When I play with these guys I’m playing for something as a team. I’m playing for the whole team. It’s the same in Davis Cup. I’m playing for the country, playing for the guys on the bench. I know that every single one of these guys up here has put effort into this week, whether that’s practice or supporting other guys.”

 

“I’m most proud of these guys,” Team World captain John McEnroe said of his six-man squad. “They put fought with their heart and soul and put everything into this. And we were so, so close to pulling this off.”

 

McEnroe and company will get a shot at revenge next September when they have home-court advantage at the United Center in Chicago.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

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