(Reuters) – Roger Federer maintained his 100% Laver Cup record against Nick Kyrgios on Saturday with a thrilling 6-7(5) 7-5 10-7 victory over the Australian to give Team Europe a 5-3 lead.
Tennis – Laver Cup – Geneva, Switzerland – September 21, 2019 Team Europe’s Roger Federer in action during his singles match against Team World’s Nick Kyrgios REUTERS/Pierre Albouy
Playing in front of 17,000 fans in Geneva, home favorite Federer beat Kyrgios for the third time in as many editions of the competition to take Europe closer to the 13-point victory target ahead of the night session that features Rafa Nadal.
“It was really close that first set so it was tough to lose,” 20-times Grand Slam winner Federer said.
“The crowd could feel it, I could feel it. I needed to get some energy going but you can’t do that if you don’t play any good shots and Nick was playing very well.
“I was just trying to stay focused. If you can turn the momentum, the crowd gets back into it and I need some earplugs next time, it was just phenomenal.”
Earlier, John Isner scored a 6-7(2) 6-4 10-1 victory over German Alexander Zverev to help Team World draw level with Team Europe at three points apiece.
With two points up for grabs for victories on the second day of the tournament in Geneva, Zverev looked on course to extend Europe’s 3-1 lead from Friday after edging a tight first set in the tiebreak.
However, the towering Isner battled back in the second set and broke to go ahead 5-4 with a lunging volley, then dragged the contest into a decider which he dominated.
“I wasn’t making any inroads on his serve at all and he was the better player for 85% of that match,” American Isner said.
“Of course, I got a little lucky at 4-4 but once I got up 5-4, I had a lot of momentum, and I think I showed that in the tiebreaker.”
Nadal faces Milos Raonic in the third singles match before the Spaniard teams up with Stefanos Tsitsipas to take on the Team World pair of Kyrgios and Jack Sock.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon