Laver Cup 2017: Team Europe Holds Off Team World Comeback, Takes 15-9 Win

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2017

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - SEPTEMBER 24:  Rafael Nadal of Team Europe serves during his mens singles match against John Isner of Team World on the final day of the Laver cup on September 24, 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic. The Laver Cup consists of six European players competing against their counterparts from the rest of the World. Europe will be captained by Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe will captain the Rest of the World team. The event runs from 22-24 September.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for Laver Cup)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Team World gave Team Europe all they could handle on the final day of the inaugural Laver Cup, staging a furious comeback that ultimately fell just short, with the Europeans winning 15-9. 

Jack Sock and John Isner started the day with a doubles win over Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych, and while Alexander Zverev appeared to put the Europeans on their way to the title with a win over Sam Querrey, Isner shocked Rafael Nadal in the second singles match.

That set up a showdown between Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios, and the Swiss veteran narrowly avoided a doubles play-off with a win in three sets. 

For the full results and an explanation of the scoring system, visit BBC Sport.

      

Recap

Europe came into the match in pole position to win the inaugural tournament, and with Federer and Nadal set to play the final two singles matches, Team World had their backs against the wall.

Sock and Isner did what they were supposed to do in the doubles, beating Berdych and Cilic in two sets to win three vital points. The tournament's official Twitter feed shared the final exchange:

That loss didn't hamper Team Europe much, however, especially given Zverev's fine form. The youngster faced Querrey in the first singles match of the day coming off a win over Denis Shapovalov on Friday, and compared to the relatively close matches we've seen throughout the tournament, he had it quite easy on Sunday.

Two breaks were all he needed, taking the match with scores of 6-4, 6-4. Afterward, he sounded very confident in the Europeans' chances:

Isner had no intentions of making it easy on Nadal, however, grabbing an early break and restoring his advantage later in the first set. He would win the opener 7-5, to the shock of the crowd.

The second set was a close affair until the tiebreak, in which the American serve specialist dominated on his way to an upset win, forcing Federer and Kyrgios onto the court in the process.

Christopher Clarey of the New York Times was impressed:

Kyrgios had the chance to force a decisive doubles match, and an early break gave the World team plenty of hope. The Aussie eventually pulled ahead to take the set 6-4.

Federer showed his class in the second set, taking a 3-1 lead, but once again, Kyrgios found his momentum with a key break. The 17th tiebreak of the tournament followed, and after Federer emerged victorious, an 18th was needed as well.

In the super tiebreak, Kyrgios' resolve finally broke, and Team Europe won the first-ever Laver Cup.