Team Europe Wins Inaugural Laver Cup

Laver Cup

Team Europe has won the first ever Laver Cup, beating Team World with an aggregate score of 15-9. Roger Federer claimed the final points for Bjorn Borg’s team, with a 4-6 7-6 11-9 win over Australia’s Nick Kyrgios.

Federer sneaks past Kyrgios to seal Laver Cup triumph for Team Europe

Federer was not at his best, but his tactics were spot on as he substituted style for effectiveness at key moments in the second set and third set-super tiebreak. Kyrgios just made too many errors, but to his credit, he provided the crowd with some excellent shot making and flair.
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Both Federer and Kyrgios went into the match with the competition still firmly in the balance, the aggregate score being 12-9 at that point. A win for Team Europe would have seen them winning the competition overall, but a win for Team World would have seen aggregate scores tied, thus forcing a doubles decider. The crowd was on edge, and the contest proved to be an enthralling one for both players and fans alike.

Isner produces earlier upset over Nadal

The final match came after John Isner pulled off one of the shocks of the tournament by beating Rafael Nadal in straight sets, 7-5 7-6. Isner’s powerful groundstrokes were too much for Nadal, who struggled to find rhythm during the match, and Isner never allowed him to exploit his great defence to its full potential. His win gave Team World a lifeline in the competition, after Alexander Zverev put Team Europe within one win of victory, with a 6-4 6-4 win over American Sam Querrey, in Sunday’s afternoon session.
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Credit must be given to Team World, who without the injured Juan Martin Del Potro, assembled mostly as a collective of young, flair players without a Grand Slam between them. They pushed the vastly more experienced Team Europe right to the wire, and they provided the crowd with more flair and engagement than their European counterparts.

Experience defeats youth

In the end, however, experience worked in Team Europe’s favour. They could rely on the likes of Federer and Nadal to deliver results when they needed it, and their respective contributions off-court were also invaluable. They encouraged and nurtured their less experienced team-mates, and although they possessed less joie de vivre than their opponents from Team World, they got the job done.
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Following its stint in Prague, Czech Republic, the Laver Cup will now move to Chicago, where it will be staged in September 2018. A lot can change in a year, but if this week’s performances are anything to go by, then Team World should be feeling confident of victory going into next year, despite this year’s setback.

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