Federer battles past Isner to save Europe
Paris: Roger Federer saved Europe from defeat in the Laver Cup after beating John Isner in a tight match 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) that takes the tournament down to the final singles match.
Federer had to win a tense tie-break over world No. 20 Isner to take the three points, smashing an ace on the final point to raise the roof in Geneva after the American had somehow shot wide with the court at his mercy. Team World lead 11-10 ahead of German Alexander Zverev’s clash Milos Raonic, a straight shootout for the tournament after Taylor Fritz (in pic) had earlier put Team World to within one win of capturing their first Laver Cup with a 7-5, 6-7 (3/7), 10-5 win over Dominic Thiem.
“I’m thrilled that I was able to give something back to the team,” said Federer. “Obviously to see Rafa on the sidelines after having to pull out with an injury, it’s great camaraderie I feel.”
Team World came into the day 7-5 down but were boosted by Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal with a hand injury.
Fritz, himself a replacement for injured Nick Kyrgios, followed up on John Isner and Jack Sock’s 5-7, 6-4, 10-8 defeat of Roger Federer and Stefanos Tsitsipas with a surprise tie-break triumph over world number five Thiem.
Nadal out with hand injury:
Rafael Nadal was forced to withdraw from the Laver Cup with a hand injury, the player revealed on Sunday. Nadal said his hand was swollen and that he was pulling out of the tournament with deep regret.
Osaka ends title drought:
Japan’s Naomi Osaka ended an eight-month title drought by winning the Pan Pacific Open in her home city on Sunday, her first trophy since her second consecutive Grand Slam triumph at the Australian Open in January. Osaka beat Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3.
Venus bows out:
Venus Williams’ first visit to Asia since 2017 was cut short as she crashed out of the Wuhan Open first round on Sunday 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) to Danielle Collins. In other action, Caroline Garcia beat Russia’s Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-2, while American Sloane Stephens beat Zhang Shuai of China 7-5, 6-4.