Frances Tiafoe sealed Team World’s first victory over Team Europe in the Laver Cup as he saved four match points en route to beating Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday.
The American, who beat Roger Federer in the Swiss great’s last competitive match on Friday, proved a fly in Europe’s ointment once again with a scintillating victory.
Tiafoe was outplayed in the first set but roared back to win 1-6, 7-6(11), 10-8 to give Team World an unassailable 13-8 lead.
Team World, who had lost the four previous editions of the team event, began the day trailing 8-4, but Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime stunned Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-6(3), having earlier partnered Jack Sock in a 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 victory against Andy Murray and Matteo Berrettini.
Tsitsipas had the chance to take the match to a deciding singles clash, but Tiafoe looked inspired in front of a raucous crowd at London’s O2 Arena who loved the American’s showman antics.
After converting match point he collapsed to the court and was buried under a pile of his teammates and captain John McEnroe, who then treated the crowd to some dance moves.
« It’s an unbelievable feeling, » Tiafoe, who reached the US Open semi-final earlier this month, said on court. « John McEnroe dropped a lot of F-bombs saying we can’t lose again. Felix beat Novak today and we all did it together, it wasn’t just me. »
McEnroe was overjoyed to have finally ended a long wait for victory and get one over old rival Bjorn Borg, who was captain of Team Europe, in the process.
« No-one beats Team World five times in a row, » McEnroe said. « Felix stepped up big time.
« Frances is prime time, we saw that at the US Open.
« This is an incredible team event and I’m loving every second of it. »