Frances Tiafoe clinched the Laver Cup title for Team World on Sunday, saving four match points to edge Team Europe’s Stefanos Tsitsipas 1-6, 7-6(11), 10-8 and give his side a 13-8 victory, here.
John McEnroe’s side entered the final day of the three-day event in London trailing four-time champions Team Europe 4-8. However, with each win worth three points on Sunday, Team World turned the tables in style to win the Laver Cup for the first time.
“I don’t want to talk too much because I want the party to begin very soon. But I want to thank my players. They brought energy, belief and intensity. I want to especially thank my brother Patrick, my right hand,” McEnroe said during the trophy ceremony.
In front of an electric crowd at The O2, Tiafoe saved four match points in the second-set tie-break as he produced moments of magic at the crucial moments to triumph after one hour and 46 minutes.
The American’s victory sparked scenes of celebration on the bench, with his teammates running onto court to embrace the World No 19, who collapsed to the floor in delight.
“It is an unbelievable feeling. Our captain Jonny Mac was tired of losing saying we needed to get it done this year on his fifth try. All week leading up I kept saying this was our year. The guys showed up,” Tiafoe said in his on-court interview.
“Felix beat Novak, Jack and Felix also played unbelievable doubles. We all did it together, it wasn’t just me. I showed a lot of heart to get this done. This is big. We are going to celebrate big tonight,” he added.
Earlier, Felix Auger-Aliassime moved Team World to within one win of capturing the trophy, when he upset Team Europe’s Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-6(3).
The Canadian hit his spots on serve throughout the one-hour, 35-minute clash, while he opened his shoulders outmanoeuvre the former World No. 1 and earn his first victory against Djokovic.
“I’ve been close a few times and in recent times to win against these great champions, so it feels great to get the win. Especially in front of the fans in this arena and for Team World,” Auger-Aliassime said in his on-court interview.
In the first match of the day, Auger-Aliassime and Sock edged Matteo Berrettini and Andy Murray 2-6, 6-3, 10-8.
In an entertaining battle at the O2 in London, the Canadian and American held their nerve when it mattered, finding first serves and deep returns in the Match Tie-break to secure their victory after one hour and 37 minutes.
Sock has now won four points for his side, having teamed with Tiafoe to defeat Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Swiss star’s final tour-level match on Friday night.