Matteo Berrettini has given Team Europe a 4-2 lead over Team World after beating Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(11) 4-6 10-7.
Auger-Aliassime had enjoyed a clean first set but unforced errors crept into his game during a hard-fought tie-break.
The relief on Berrettini's face was clear when he took a gruelling 86-minute first set on his seventh set point when Auger-Aliassime crashed a forehand into the net.
'A part of my life left with Federer' – Nadal recalls emotional goodbye to tennis legend
But the Canadian roared back in the second set. He broke the Berrettini serve to move into a 2-1 lead and did not give the Italian a single break point opportunity. Auger-Aliassime produced a love hold on his serve to force the decider.
The extended tie-break decider was efficiently wrapped up by Berrettini, whose powerful first serve proved too much for Auger-Aliassime.
Berrettini's big serve and forehand were crucial in a gripping first set which went to a tie-break, after both held their serve. The Italian eventually converted a set point to take the tie break 11-10
The second set began with a Berrettini hold. However, Auger-Aliassime took the next three games, including a break. The remaining games all go to serve and despite advice from team mate Roget Federer, the Canadian was able to serve out the set with some big first serves and a big forehand to take it 6-4 to send the match to a tie-break.
'He is my idol' - Berrettini gushes about Federer after Laver Cup victory
- 'I couldn't sleep, he's my idol' - Berrettini very emotional over Federer retirement
- Federer hits freak shot THROUGH net, jokes 'eye still good' in farewell match
- ‘It’s exactly what I hoped for’ – Federer on ‘perfect journey’ coming to an end
Berrettini took command of the deciding tie-break and raced into a 7-2 lead. Although Auger-Aliassime tried to fight back, the Italian saw out the set 10-7 and to give the Team Europe two points and move 4-2 ahead.
After the victory, the Italian said in his on-court interview: "It's always a great fight against Felix. We played two hours and 16 minutes with a breaker in the third so he's a hell of a player.
"I had to play my best tennis in the breaker in order to win and I'm really happy because I didn't win just for me but for the team so it was really important."
Watch match point as Berrettini seals big victory for Team Europe
It has been an emotional weekend for Team Europe after Rodger Federer's poignant final competitive match on Saturday, and the Italian spoke about the moving events from yesterday and being coached on the sidelines by the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
"I feel like I cannot screw up! It's actually unbelievable. One of the reasons I couldn't sleep was he was crying on my shoulder and I was like 'is that real? Roger Federer?' Today he gave me some tips and it worked out pretty well so thanks Roger.
"He was my idol. He inspired me so much. Not just me but billions of people.
"He did everything for the sport and for me in general. I'm so happy to be here. I have to thank him, but I've got chills guys. It's tough for me.
- - -
Stream the 2022 Laver Cup exclusively live on discovery+ and eurosport.co.uk
Medvedev, Tsitsipas have had their confidence hurt by the Big Three - Mouratoglou
Djokovic 'heavy favourite' for Aus Open, 'still No. 1 player in world' - Woodbridge
Share this article