Jakarta (ANTARA) – Frances Tiafoe led Team World to her first Laver Cup as the American saved four match point in a dramatic win over Stefanos Tsitsipas that robbed Roger Federer of his farewell trophy on Sunday local time.
Tiafoe launched a superb counterattack to win 1-6.7-6 (13/11), 10/8 in the final game of the tournament at London’s O2 Arena.
The win was enough to take John McEnroe’s World team to a 13-8 victory with one game to play, which also secured their first victory in this competition after the European team won the first four editions of this tournament.
As Federer hopes to end his career by lifting a trophy in a tournament he co-created, the Swiss legend was forced to pay tribute to Tiafoe and the rest of Team World.
“Congratulations to Team World, what a comeback,” Federer said.
“It can be very emotional at times, but I’m happy. I’m very grateful for that. I enjoyed every minute.”
Promising to attend the Laver Cup next year in Canada, Federer said: “I’m looking forward to next year. I’ll be there, supporting both teams from different positions.”
Federer played the final match of his illustrious career on Friday when he and Rafael Nadal were beaten by Tiafoe and Jack Sock in doubles.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion’s tearful farewell was the highlight of the tournament, but Federer, unable to play his next match due to a knee problem that forced him to retire, remained on the bench. pitch to support his Team Europe teammates.
Despite the presence of Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic and former world number one Andy Murray on the Team Europe roster, Tiafoe and rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime managed to lift Team World from a 4-8 deficit. .
Tiafoe, 24, and Auger-Aliassime, 22, are part of a generation that should take center stage where Federer retired, with Nadal and Murray also in the twilight of their careers.
“It’s an incredible feeling. Our captain Jonny Mac is tired of losing, he’s been dropping F-bombs all week. I can’t help but say this is our year. It’s not just me , we all show up,” Tiafoe said.
Needed to win three of four games on Sunday, the World team was forced to rely on Auger-Aliassime.
Auger-Aliassime single-handedly handed Djokovic his first loss since May as the Canadian won 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).
Djokovic, who missed the recent US Open due to his vaccination status, won his first match in two months on Saturday when the 21-time Grand Slam champion defeated Tiafoe in straight sets.
“It was one of the best performances of my career. I came close to beating this legend a few times, so it’s great to win like this,” Auger-Aliassime said.
Auger-Aliassime’s first victory over Djokovic was impressive, especially after teaming up with Sock, he also won 2-6, 6-3, 10/8 against Matteo Berrettini and Murray earlier on Sunday.
Auger-Aliassime’s heroism prompted Tiafoe not to waste this opportunity.
Tsitsipas opened the first set in just 21 minutes but the Greek’s fast start was stopped by Tiafoe.
Tsitsipas lost four match point on decisive game the second set as Tiafoe showed the reason why she reached the semifinals of this year’s US Open by relentlessly avoiding defeat.
Tiafoe led the game with a stunning victory after running to the net to serve amortized incredible Tsitsipas.
It was a magical moment that reminded people of Federer when he was at his best and the Swiss legend couldn’t help but smile at the scene.
This news was also broadcast on Antaranews.com with the title: Tiafoe plays as Team World wins Laver Cup
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