Federer Clinches Laver Cup for Team Europe – While Team Europe may have dominated play on Friday, continuing on Saturday, capped by Federer and Nadal uniting in doubles, it was Team World that hung on until the end, nearly forcing a deciding doubles one-set shootout. Team Europe was within striking distance of the 13 points needed to secure the Laver Cup, but with John Isner’s upset over Rafael Nadal, it was 12-9, with the final singles match now a live match. Roger Federer of Team Europe would take the court against Nick Kyrgios of Team World. If it was going to play out like anything similar to their Miami Open thriller, then Sunday’s final day of competition would be a photo finish.
Both players started well, ensuing in high quality points from the onset. It was Kyrgios who broke first, and despite some fierce efforts from the Swiss maestro, the young Australian held on to take the first set. Down a set, the 36-year-old Swiss would need to win the second set and a ten-point match tiebreak, or else the Laver Cup would be decided by a one-set doubles match.
Federer let out a huge roar upon breaking Kyrgios in the second set, but it was short-lived. The Swiss was broken in the very next game and play returned to staying on serve into a pressure packed tiebreak. There, the 19-time grand slam champion raised his game to edge out the tiebreaker, but it was not over yet. In this different format, there was no certainty all weekend of carrying momentum from winning the second set tiebreak to winning the ten-point match tiebreak. In a previous match, Thiem lost the second set tiebreak but went on to beat Isner in the match tiebreak – and within the first several points, it was Kyrgios out in front 5-2 and 8-5, with the Swiss double faulting twice.
From that point onward though, Federer managed to even the score at 8-all, and moments later, clinched the inaugural Laver Cup for Team Europe with a 4-6 7-6 (6) 11-9 victory, in an intense close to the competition.