Team Europe had the upper hand over Team World during the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague 2017. The blue squad dominated the singles matches during the opening two days. Alexander Zverev pushed them 12-6 in front on the final day, with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer still to play their encounters.
Nadal lost to John Isner in two tight sets, as Team World climbed back to 9-12. Federer put Nick Kyrgios in the tournament’s last match, and the Aussie had a chance to prolong the battle and introduce the deciding doubles match.
It was a thrilling contest, and Roger scored a 4-6, 7-6, 11-9 triumph in two hours and four minutes. Federer fended off a match point in the match tie break to send Team Europe over the top and start a massive celebration with his teammates.
Nick gave his everything against the legendary rival, fending off seven out of eight break points and having a chance to seal the deal and increase the drama. Still, Federer stayed calm and claimed the last three points at 8-9 to emerge at the top and deliver the inaugural Laver Cup title for Team Europe.
Roger played against two break points and failed to defend any. He had to work hard to score a win after that, as there was nothing to separate them. Federer kicked off the action with a hold at love and reached deuce on the return in the next one before Kyrgios leveled the score at 1-1.
Roger hit a double fault in the fifth game and faced two break points. Nick clinched the first with a backhand crosscourt winner that sent him 3-2 in front. The Aussie cemented the lead with a hold at love in game six before experiencing the first issues on serve in games eight and ten.
Kyrgios trailed 40-15 at 5-4 and defended both break points before sealing the set with a forehand winner after 47 minutes. The Swiss squandered five break opportunities in the opening set’s closing stages and earned three more at 2-1 in the second.
Roger Federer saved a match point in a thriller against Nick Kyrgios in 2017.
He seized the third after Nick’s loose forehand to grab his first break and move 3-1 in front. His lead was short-lived, though, with Kyrgios taking four straight points in game five and pulling the break back after Federer’s terrible backhand.
Nick received a medical timeout on his left knee, but it did not bother him too much for the rest of the clash. The Aussie blasted an ace in the tenth game to lock the result at 5-5 before bringing the Swiss to deuce in game 12.
Kyrgios stayed calm and brought the game home to introduce a tie break. With no room for errors, Federer forged a 6-3 advantage with an ace before Kyrgios climbed back to 6-6 with a backhand down the line winner in the 12th point.
Roger responded with a forehand crosscourt winner at 7-6 to wrap up the set and force a deciding match tie break. There were five mini-breaks in the opening eight points, and Roger reduced the deficit to 5-3 when Nick netted a backhand.
The Swiss fired two service winners at 3-6 to remain competitive before the Aussie landed a booming serve for 8-5. Federer won the following two points on his serve and grabbed a mini-break after an extended 16th point for 8-8.
Kyrgios placed a forehand winner on the baseline to open a 9-8 lead and earn a match point. Nick squandered it with a loose forehand and kept Roger in contention. The Swiss moved 10-9 in front with a service winner and earned the first match point.
Kyrgios netted a forehand to hand the victory to Federer, who made a proper celebration with the rest of Team Europe and their captain Bjorn Borg.