What a tournament! I am thrilled. I just love the format and everything around it: image, atmosphere and so on.
It looked like everything was a master plan, all the details were thoroughly made.
Day 3 started with the doubles match, where team Berdych/Cilic met team Isner/Sock. It was a tight call and a fierce fight. The World team showed maturity during the big moments and took the important points, winning the match in two tie-breaks. Even though the players gave all and we had a few interesting passing shots and surprising lobs, it was a match without a great rhythm. Team Europe often look clueless on the net, being singles players by nature, and were caught in the no man’s land spot quite a few times.
The second match was the star of the day. Even though people are focusing on the last match, won heroically by Federer.
Alexander Zverev met the in-form big server, Sam Querrey.
The young Superstar constantly pushed the American back and left him almost no time to prepare his shots, being often caught off balance. Even though the number 1 American was playing an inspired tennis and was giving his all, he was outplayed and overpowered by the world number 4.
Sascha showed that he is not by chance so high in the rankings. Even though Querrey played well and had the right attitude, it seemed that Zverev had an answer for everything Sam was throwing at him. He looked like a Chess Maestro, he knew what his opponent is going to do a few moves ahead. Total dominance. And the youngster looked so naturally out there, like he didn’t even pressed the gas pedal.
The third match was the surprise of the day. World number 1, Nadal, met the Number 2 American, John Isner.
Nadal looked out of balance, like he can’t find his rhythm or his shots. Often undecided on his shot making, the Spaniard looked like he is in a fight that he is not willing to have.
The Clay Maestro looked slow to react on this fast surface. He was making some spectacular points, but couldn’t focus during the big ones. Nadal fought hard, but Isner was making the right decisions. John took advantage every time he caught Rafa off guard.
World number one looked vulnerable through out the match and Isner delivered an over all better game. Isner took 3 precious points for his team and the last match would decide the Champion team.
Team Europe was relying on the Swiss Maestro to bring the victory for his team. But what happened next, amazed me.
Nick Kyrgios met the GOAT a couple of times before and the matches were really close. But given the occasion and the responsibility, a lot of people were expecting the bad boy of Tennis to flunk. It wasn’t the case.
The first set saw the Australian leaving Federer a spectator on many points. Even though Roger was playing well, it often looked undecided on his shot making and Kyrgios took advantage and focused during the important points. The dedication and fighting spirit of Nick really surprised me. He was the main asset of the World team during the whole tournament.
But Federer had patience and held on tight in the second set and battled hard to win it in a tie-break.
Once in the deciding tie-break, players changed the momentum repeatedly. At one point, it looked like Kyrgios is going to grab the win. But in the end, he seemed a bit overwhelmed by the moment and his hand trembled on his racket, causing him to play a few short shots. Federer stepped in and took advantage of the moment. Kyrgios blinked for a moment and he lost. Even though luck played a role as well, Roger showed more control over his emotions.
Then the arena exploded. Team Europe screaming of joy and Team World saluting Nick’s great efforts, which collapsed on the floor crying.
Three magical days! Full of excitement and quality Tennis. I’m looking forward for the second edition.