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Laver Cup: Félix Auger-Aliassime and the international team triumph

LONDON – Quebec’s Félix Auger-Aliassime added a singles win over Novak Djokovic to his doubles win earlier in the day on Sunday to set the stage for the international team’s Laver Cup win .

After his two wins, Auger-Aliassime gave the international team a 10-8 lead. American Frances Tiafoe then came from behind to beat Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 1-6, 7-6 (11), 10-8.

Tiafoe’s victory gave the international team an insurmountable 13-8 lead, which won the Laver Cup for the first time in its history.

When Tsitsipas sent his forehand into the net, Tiafoe dropped his racquet and lay down on the court. His teammates came to celebrate with him.

“When it becomes a circus on the pitch, I just use the energy of the crowd, I act like a kid and I have lots of reactions. I started playing well and created momentum,” Tiafoe said. I am able to play a little better than my opponents in this environment, it seems. »

Auger-Aliassime, 22, defeated 21-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic 6-3, 7-6(3) by virtue of 13 aces and a 39-11 advantage in total stroke winners.

The victory followed the final doubles match of the three-day event, in which Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock came from behind to defeat Andy Murray and Matteo Berrettini 2-6, 6-3 , 10-8.

Murray, who has three Grand Slam titles, received treatment after cutting his right leg in the loss.

“It was a little weird in the first game (against Djokovic), but after that I felt very good, very relaxed,” said Auger-Aliassime, who had his best run at a major tournament at the United States Open. last year when he reached the semi-finals. To get this victory (in doubles) gave me real confidence for the singles. »

Wins are worth three points each on Sunday. The first team to score 13 points wins top honors.

It meant Tiafoe, who reached the semi-finals of the US Open this month, could deliver victory for the international team by beating 2021 French Open runner-up Tsitsipas in the penultimate match.

“Frances has been playing close games against the very good players for a long time and he has lost several close battles. It’s great to see him win recently,” said American Taylor Fritz, who has known Tiafoe for years.

The European team began the competition this year at the O2 Arena having won all four previous editions of the Laver Cup, which was founded by Roger Federer’s management company.

“I don’t like to lose,” insisted Federer, who has won 20 major titles in his career. It’s not pleasant. It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. »

Sock teamed up with Tiafoe to defeat Federer and Rafael Nadal on Friday in the final game of the 41-year-old Federer’s career.

Djokovic won both singles and doubles matches on Saturday in his return to competition since winning Wimbledon in July. This helped the European team grab an 8-4 lead going into Sunday’s games.

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