Roger Federer hoists the Laver Cup, after defeating a determined Nick Kyrgios to clinch victory for Team Europe.

Who would have surmised that some of the best tennis of the season would take place not on the hallowed grounds of Wimbledon or Flushing Meadows, but at the untested domain of the Laver Cup? For 3 days, the entire tennis community was focused on the city of Prague, as the event spearheaded by Roger Federer came to life amidst much fanfare and appraisal.

Team Europe had acquired a rather impressive 9-3 lead, following a strong showing on the first day. The dream pairing of Federer and Nadal highlighted day 2, thus Team World would need to win all of today’s matches if they hoped to capture the Laver trophy.

The team of Jack Sock and John Isner proved to be quite formidable, combining Isner’s booming serves with Sock’s superb play at the net.

Sock/Isner d Berdych/Cilic 7-6(5) 7-6(6)

In a match featuring thunderous serves and huge forehands, it came as no surprise that both sets would go to a tiebreak. Sock, who turned 25 today, was the hero for Team World as his forehand was on full display. Furthermore, he exhibited the mental toughness and skill that saw him win the Wimbledon doubles title in 2014, as well as two medals in men’s and mixed doubles at the Rio Olympics.

Team Europe did attempt a comeback, they were in fact down a break in the second set and orchestrated a comeback. The chemistry between Sock and Isner was evident however, as they played the bigger points better and claimed the match in just under 2 hours. With point values tripled for each win, Team World was still very much alive.

Zverev d Querrey 6-4 6-4

A total of at least 13 points is required to ensure victory for either Team at the Laver Cup, and with Zverev’s victory, the title was within reach. The German is the youngest member on Team Europe, and one would think he would rather be having fun on the sidelines with his younger compatriots on Team World.

Nonetheless, he made short work of Querrey and dispatched of the American in straight sets. His backhand was superb, as the world number 4 hit winners from every angle. Querrey was unable to stave off the relentless attack and succumbed to the constant pressure applied by his opponent. Team Europe now led 12-6.

Isner d Nadal 7-5 7-6(1)

No one enjoys playing against John Isner. Sure, he may not move with the grace of a ballet dancer or the speed of an Olympic sprinter; but he serves with the power and precision of a homing missile. The task of toppling the giant fell to world number 1 Rafael Nadal, who was unprepared for Isner’s flawless performance. The American had never defeated Nadal on the ATP tour, but he shocked the Spaniard as he took the first set following some inspired net play.

The second set was a close affair, resulting in no breaks of serve. A tiebreak soon ensued, and Isner remained uncompromising in attacking the net. This tactic again paid off, as he dominated the tiebreak and saved Team World from the brink of elimination. Team World had reduced the lead to just 3 points, and the next match would prove to be vital.

Federer d Kyrgios 4-6 7-6(6) 11-9

A victory for Kyrgios would have seen both Team’s tied at 12-12, resulting in a set of doubles being played to decide the victor. In a dramatic and tension-filled match, Roger Federer came back from a set down to defeat Kyrgios and clinch the victory for Team Europe. This was arguably the best match of the tournament, and it was only fitting that the responsibility would fall on the shoulders of the man who had conceptualized the entire event.

Kyrgios put on a fantastic display in the first set, attacking Federer’s second serve and moving the Swiss Maestro around the court with his groundstrokes. He employed his inside-out forehand to break down the Federer backhand, resulting in a break of serve in the fifth game. There was no looking back, as the Australian ran away with the first set.

Federer upped the aggression in the second set, breaking Kyrgios to lead 3-1. The Australian immediately broke back however, and the second set went to a tiebreak. After saving one set point, Kyrgios was unable to stop the Swiss superstar from winning the second and taking the match to a super tiebreak.

The crowd was clearly frenetic as both men tried to outlast the other. Federer actually committed two double faults in the tiebreak, giving Kyrgios a sizable 8-5 lead. He even held match point at 9-8, after missing an easy backhand volley. It was not to be however, as Federer held his serve and Kyrgios netted a forehand to give Team Europe the victory. Team Europe wins 15-9!

It was a valiant effort from Team World, but Team Europe emerged as the first winner of the inaugural Laver Cup. Next year the competition shall be held in Chicago, to give Team World a hometown advantage. Regardless, the spirit of sportsmanship and unity was celebrated for the duration of the event, as every player involved had the opportunity to not only interact with fans but also with each other.

The next edition of the Laver Cup should feature even more superstars, assuming everyone stays healthy and chooses to participate. Let’s not forget the likes of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and others who are out injured. The event was extremely successful, with the potential to be regarded as an elite-level tournament which should be taken seriously. But not too seriously.

To the victors go the spoils.

What was your overall impression of the 2017 Laver Cup? Were you fully behind Team Europe or did the youthful exuberance of Team World win you over? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to follow us on www.tennis-pulse.com as the 2017 ATP World tour season draws to its conclusion.