Tennis: Zverev seals Laver Cup win for Europe

Team Europe's Alexander Zverev during a tennis match of the Laver Cup at the United Center in Chicago, on Sept 23, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

CHICAGO (AFP) - Europe retained their Laver Cup men's team tennis crown here on Sunday (Sept 23), as Alexander Zverev defeated Kevin Anderson to complete a 13-8 win over the World team.

Germany's Zverev came from a set down to complete a 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 10-7 triumph over the South African as the Europeans successfully defended the title won in Prague last year.

"It was such a close match all around, not only this one but all weekend, a few points here and there and it could have been different," said Zverev.

"I'm just happy to get the win and we defended the title, that's the most important thing."

Zverev's win was the final act of an enthralling day of action at Chicago's United Centre, where the World team had roared back into contention in the day's first rubber.

American duo John Isner and Jack Sock fought off two match points to defeat Zverev and world No. 2 Roger Federer in a gripping doubles battle.

Isner and Sock prevailed 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 11-9 to give the World team an 8-7 lead with the three singles rubbers remaining.

Europe responded superbly after that early setback however, with the 37-year-old Federer returning to secure a vital three points against Isner in the first singles match of the day.

The Swiss ace came from a set down to defeat the big-serving Isner 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (8-6), 10-7.

The win was testimony to Federer's remarkable physical conditioning.

The 20-time Grand Slam singles champion outlasted Isner less than an hour after he and Zverev had been beaten.

Federer celebrated the win by performing push-ups on court with his teammates to the delight of the crowd.

Europe skipper Bjorn Borg meanwhile praised the performance of the World team, who were captained by his old rival John McEnroe.

"I'm very proud of my team, we knew it's going to be very difficult to beat Team World with John as the captain," Borg said. "He has a great team, they're very professional."

The next Laver Cup, which is named after Australian legend Rod Laver, will be staged in Geneva, Switzerland in September 2019.

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