Frances Tiafoe beats Stefanos Tsitsipas to deny Roger Federer glory as Team World win Laver Cup for first time
Frances Tiafoe fought back to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas and seal a first Laver Cup win for Team World. The result means Roger Federer’s final competitive event ended in defeat with Team World winning 13-8 against Team Europe. It represented a remarkable turnaround for Team World, who entered Sunday’s competition trailing 8-4, but three wins from three saw them seal a famous triumph.
Highlights: Tiafoe roars back to beat Tsitsipas and clinch Laver Cup triumph for Team World
With three points on offer for a win, Team World only needed Tiafoe to beat Tsitsipas to seal a first Laver Cup win.
Tsitsipas took the first set at a canter, winning it in just 21 minutes, but the second set was a far tighter affair, with Tiafoe taking it on a tie-break, 13-11, with some stunning tennis to send it to a Laver breaker - a race to 10 points.
Tiafoe produced some miraculous tennis in the Laver breaker, showing great court coverage and sleight of hand to win it 10-8.
It all started so well for Tsitsipas, who came flying out of the traps, holding to 15 to help calm the nerves of Team Europe after two wins from two for Team World.
Tsitsipas was breezing through his service games before breaking his opponent with a fine cross-court winner. And he made it a double break with an impressive showing, breaking Tiafoe to love as he wrapped up the set in blistering time.
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Things could only get better for Tiafoe, and he held comfortably at the start of second set to help rebuild his confidence. He was on course for his first break of the match until Tsitsipas fought back and held service with a beautiful inside-out forehand.
Every time Tiafoe looked to have a bit of momentum, Tsitsipas wrestled it back, making yet another swift service hold.
Perhaps encouraged by words of wisdom from his team, Tiafoe found his mojo on his serve. An unreturnable serve and then a cute serve and volley took him to a 4-3 lead.
Despite that, the American was struggling to make inroads on Tsitsipas's serve and he couldn’t prevent the set going to a tie-break.
'A stunner!' - Tiafoe produces an outrageous shot to thwart Tsitsipas
The tie-break was played out in breath-taking fashion, with Tiafoe desperately clinging on by saving three match points and Tsitsipas saving two set points of his own.
Finally, after 20 minutes, Tiafoe prevailed with a volley that kissed the line by 6mm, making it 13-11 and setting up the Laver breaker which, inevitably, proved just as dramatic.
Tsitsipas raced into a 2-0 lead, but Tiafoe was going nowhere, and a scarcely believable cross court winner – arguably the point of the tournament - from the American proved the defining moment as he got his nose in front.
That appeared to knock the stuffing out of Tsitsipas and although the Greek tried to make a fight of it, nothing was going to stop Tiafoe and Team World.
Watch Tiafoe tumble into the net after epic point with Tsitsipas
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