Team Europe won the inaugural Laver Cup tournament against Team World after Roger Federer won a dramatic clash with Nick Kyrgios in Prague.
The Europeans were in a strong position overnight – leading 9-3 in an event which has been dubbed as the tennis version of golf’s Ryder Cup.
However, with three points available for each victory on the final day it meant that all was still to play for with four matches left to contest.
Team World, captained by American legend John McEnroe, got off to a perfect start on the indoor hard courts at the O2 Arena in the Czech capital.
American duo Jack Sock and John Isner saw off the challenge of home player Tomas Berdych and Croatia’s Marin Cilic.
They won the doubles rubber 7-5, 7-6.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev then restored Europe’s cushion by beating another American, Sam Querrey, 6-4, 6-4.
The Europeans were then rocked when Isner superbly beat Spain’s world number one Rafael Nadal to bring Team World within three points.
Isner won 7-5, 7-6 to leave it all down to Swiss icon Federer’s clash with Australia’s Kyrigos.
With the first two sets shared the match was decided on a unique first-to-ten tiebreak, which Federer won 11-9 with two clear points needed.
It handed the 19-time grand slam champion a 4-6, 7-6, 11-9 victory as Europe won 15-9 overall.
If Kyrigos had won, Europe, captained by Sweden’s Bjorn Borg, would have needed to win a deciding doubles match to clinch the overall title as the competition would have ended as a 12-12 draw.
The Cup is named after Australian great Rod Laver.
By Dan Palmer
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.