Team World rallied to beat Team Europe 13-8 to win the Laver Cup for the first time after five attempts at the 02 Arena in London.
Team World trailed behind 8-4 after the first two days, but won three matches in a row in the last competition day on Sunday to dramatically win the wildly popular team event.
The Laver Cup, held from September 23 to 25, is a men’s tennis tournament played between players from Europe and players from the rest of the world. Each win secures one point on the opening day, two points on day two, and three points on the final matchday. The event was created by Roger Federer and his agent Tony Godsick.
On the final day, Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada paired up with America’s Jack Sock to defeat Italy’s Matteo Berrettini and British veteran Andy Murray 2-6, 6-3 and 10-8 in the doubles match. The 22-year-old then kept his momentum in the singles match, outplaying 21-time major champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia 6-3, 7-6 (3).
Djokovic, 35, admitted that a problem with his right wrist had affected him during the match, but insisted that Aliassime deserved the win with his outstanding performance.
America’s Frances Tiafoe eventually sealed the overall victory for Team World as the 24-year-old came from behind to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 1-6, 7-6(11), 10-8.
Tiafoe, teaming up with Sock, defeated Federer and Rafael Nadal in the doubles match last Friday, and joked that he would not apologize to the Swiss legend as the 20-time Grand Slam winner not only ended his professional tour journey with a loss, but had no chance to lift the Laver Cup with Team Europe.
“He has got a lot to apologize for the last 24 years after beating everybody on the tour,” quipped Tiafoe.
Federer, 41, announced his retirement last week and decided to play his last pro match together with long-time rival and friend Nadal at the Laver Cup.
“Being on court on Friday and having such a huge moment in my career, being surrounded by my biggest rivals like Novak and Andy and Rafa was truly unique, and I can never thank them enough for being there and staying there and going through it with me,” said Federer.
Federer has promised he will be on site at the 2023 Laver Cup in Vancouver, Canada to cheer for both teams as a fan. ■