Fed­erer bat­tles past Is­ner to save Europe

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport -

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.

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