Roger Federer leads Team Europe to Laver Cup victory


Roger Federer leads Team Europe to Laver Cup victory
    By the time Roger Federer stepped out for Sunday night's climactic final rubber of the Laver Cup he was already in a no-lose situation.Either he was going to score the win that carried Team Europe to overall victory, or Nick Kyrgios would defeat him to set up a potentially thrilling, sudden death doubles to decide this inaugural edition's outcome.As it turned out Federer had it both ways, stealing a pulsating 4-6, 7-6, 11-9 win over the mercurial Australian for a final scoreline of Europe 15, 'The World' 9, saving a match point to boot.Nothing can go wrong this year for the 36 year-old Goldenballs of tennis.People will debate the status of this event, whether it can gain more than an exhibition status, but the players' actions spoke louder than words.Kyrgios was in tears at the end, having blown a 8-5 lead in the 'Champions' tiebreak.Rafael Nadal looked in danger of chewing his own knuckles off, so fervently did he watch and support his old rival from the sidelines.He is either a very good actor or he really cared.Another fascinating distraction was the raging desire of one captain, John McEnroe, on one side of the umpire's chair and the comparatively Sphinx-like behaviour of Bjorn Borg on the other.'Time will tell how big the Laver Cup will become,' said Federer afterwards.'It was like a fairy tale for all of us, or for me at least, at the end.There was pressure having to prove that the event is successful.The only way it was ever going to be successful is if the players cared.And they did.I think you saw it.'Chicago was announced as the venue for next year, as Europe will host alternately.'It's been a wonderful journey.I just hope to leave a legacy behind, not for me personally but just for the game,' said the Swiss.His analysis of the event was hard to dispute, even if he has a huge vested interest as its promoter with, among others, his management company.The presentation was undeniably superb in an arena packed to its 16,000 capacity, with Tennis Australia – another of his partners in the enterprise - giving it the full treatment that has made their domestic Grand Slam such a success.McEnroe described it 'an absolutely awesome event.'But what gave it credibility, and hope to establish itself as something akin to golf's Ryder Cup, was the attitude of the two teams.Far from having the feel of hit-and-giggle, every rubber was keenly contested.The albeit overmatched 'World' team, five of whom were North Americans, appeared highly motivated to put one over the Continent that has been the cradle of champions for most of this century.Whether this exceeding of initial expectations will be enough to find accommodation and recognition from the ATP Tour and International Tennis Federation remains to be seen.They will not be putting any of the results down in any official record books, while Wimbledon will be left to ponder its hitherto sceptical attitude towards an event that is undoubtedly a disruptor.At the very least it should focus minds on enhance

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