BY GODWIN AIKIGBE
Rod Laver? feels proud and honoured with the successful organisation of the first ever Laver Cup tournament in Prague.
The Australian tennis legend who was born in Rockhampton, Queensland and won 11 Grand Slam singles titles and the Grand Slam in 1962 and 1969, on Monday tweeted to congratulate Team Europe on their victory against Team World.
He tweeted: “Words can barely express how proud and honored I feel. Congratulations Team Europe, the winner is tennis. Thank you @rogerfederer @LaverCup.”
Roger Federer fought back to beat Nick Kyrgios 4-6 7-6(6) [11-9] and secure the first-ever Laver Cup title for Team Europe on Sunday.
The O2 arena was a wall of noise as the most compelling singles showdown of the weekend delivered a high-wire act of a match, Kyrgios coming within a point of dragging Team World from 9-3 down at the start of the final day into the winner-takes-all doubles decider.
In the end, however, Federer sealed the title in a match tiebreak – the sixth of the weekend, and 18th tiebreak in all – recovering from 8-5 down and saving a match point at 9-8 to secure Team Europe’s triumph.
“I was ready to go – I had to be,” said Federer, who ended up contributing three victories and six points to the hosts’ 15-9 victory.
“That’s what a team member does. The boys played fantastic all weekend, but we knew it could change very quickly on Sunday.
“The Team World boys have been great, in the doubles especially, and we knew it was going to be tough. I was looking at getting ready for a doubles at the very end. I’m very pleased and relieved that we did win the singles and got it done.”
“I’m most proud of these guys – they fought with their heart and soul and put everything into this,” John McEnroe said in tribute to his underdog squad during the trophy ceremony. “And we were so, so close to pulling this off.”