The dream team of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal finally took center stage at the O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.

The first day of the inaugural Laver Cup left us with Team World facing a 1-3 deficit, as Team Europe had dominated in most of the day’s proceedings. Despite the discrepancy in rankings, with all members of Team Europe being in the top 20; Team World had still managed to put up a respectable showing.

With the points now doubled, Team World still had the opportunity to level up on points and even take the lead. Captain John McEnroe would have given his team quite the motivational speech in the locker room. Furthermore, Team World possessed youth laced with unbridled energy. Perhaps that combination was the recipe required to pierce the more stoic demeanor worn by Team Europe?

Federer and Querrey kicked off the day’s matches at the O2 Arena.

Federer d Querrey 6-4 6-2

The man whom everyone paid to see finally took to court, and Federer ensured that the crowd got their money’s worth. After playing cheerleader and assistant coach for all of Friday, the world number 2 made quick work of American Sam Querrey in just 69 minutes. A quick break in the fifth game of the first set was all Federer required, before taking it in just under 40 minutes.

In his first match since his loss to Juan Martin del Potro at the US Open quarterfinals, Federer moved with the skill and grace to which we are accustomed. He displayed his array of drop shots, angled groundstrokes and the occasional serve-and-volley. After being broken in the third game, Querrey put up little resistance as Federer ran away with the match.

Nadal d Sock 6-3 3-6 11-9

Jack Sock is good. There, it has to be said. The American put up a herculean performance against the world number 1, and was within a net cord of possibly winning the match. The American’s serve and forehand are fearsome indeed, but his backhand is not up to par. Thus, this facet of his game was exposed by the Spaniard, as Nadal took the first set in 36 minutes.

The Spaniard raced to a 2-1 lead after breaking Sock in the third game, but the American dug deep into his reserves; relying on his forehand and breaking back. With his teammates spurring him on, Sock was able to win four consecutive games and take the second set; sending the match into a super tiebreak.

Nadal raced to a 5-1 lead, and seemed to be in control of the match. Nonetheless, Sock fought back and leveled the score at 8-8. It was here that a probable forehand winner clipped the net and sailed wide, giving Nadal the lead. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, the Spaniard capitalized on his good fortune and closed out the match. Team Europe now held a 7-1 lead.

Kyrgios d Berdych 4-6 7-6(4) 10-6

Hometown favorite Tomas Berdych faced Nick Kyrgios in a must-win match for Team World. And win the Australian did, as he fought back from a set down to deliver an impressive performance against the big-serving Czech. Despite taking a medical timeout after the first set, Kyrgios employed his powerful groundstrokes and unpredictable play to outhit his Czech opponent. Team World had acquired two vital points and were still very much alive in the competition, decreasing their deficit to 7-3.

Federer/Nadal d Querrey/Sock 6-4 1-6 10-5

The match that had most tennis enthusiasts salivating was finally upon us. For years people have dreamed of watching Federer and Nadal play on the same side of the court. And you know what? That’s what happened. Not enough can be said about each man’s skill at the sport, and they will both go down as the greatest players to ever swing a racket. In singles competition. When playing alongside each other, there were obvious cases of miscommunication, coupled with unforced errors aplenty.

Make no mistake, they showed adequate chemistry for two players who have never played together. However, there was the erroneous belief that they would blow their opponents off the court. Granted, Fedal took the first set but this was mostly due to each man’s individual prowess; especially on serve.

The second set was a one-sided affair, with the Americans dominating from the start. Sock was particularly impressive, having won a number of doubles titles including Wimbledon in 2014. His reflexes at the net were exquisite, accompanied with exceptional shot placement. The crowd seemed almost incredulous when the match proceeded to a super tiebreak.

Having 35 Grand Slams between them still accounts for something however, as the champions stepped into a higher gear and dominated the tiebreak. They raced off to an 8-1 lead, before Sock and Querrey were able to halve the deficit. Regardless, there was no coming back at this point, as Federer and Nadal closed out the match and gave Team Europe a 9-3 lead.

It’s highly unlike that these two will be teaming together anytime soon, as they are both singles players and their competitive nature and history could prevent them from meshing well as a team. Regardless, it was a historic occasion, one that the entire tennis community would not soon forget. Well, maybe some portions could be forgotten.

The Laver Cup concludes tomorrow, with Team World needing to win all their matches to capture the trophy. Team Europe only requires two wins to ensure they are champions, so it will be interesting to see each captain’s selection. Remember each victor is awarded three points, so a clean sweep could swing the pendulum to favor Team World.

Which line-ups would give Team World their best shot at a comeback? And what were your impressions of the first and possibly only Fedal pairing? Be sure to join us on www.tennis-pulse.com as the 2017 Laver Cup draws to a close.