Take your seats, take your popcorn and enjoy! Definitely this event doesn’t look like an exhibition one. We saw how much the players wanted to win, how hard they fought and how much they cared.
As I was expecting, we had really close matches. A lot of tie-breaks and a lot of close calls. Nevertheless, the more experienced team won 3 out of 4 points. All the singles matches were won by team Europe.
The first match was in between Cilic and Tiafoe. The Croat bombed the youngster with his huge serves and powerful ground strokes. Marin Cilic overpowered the Next Gen Star and constantly pushed him back, causing the American to return short. Even though it was a close match, Tiafoe looked at times a bit overwhelmed by the occasion. The youngster needs to improve his serve and placement.
Dominic Thiem and John Isner followed next. It was a game of who can overpower who. The key was definitely the serve. A game without a great rhythm. Thiem had the patience to wait for his chances and took advantage. He had great advises from the Tennis gods, Federer and Nadal. He made the most of them, winning the second point for his team.
The third match was clearly the star of the day. The most spectacular one. We had amazing rallies, crazy angles, powerful ground strokes, volleys, drop shots, inspired returns. And when you add to these great fight the players’ complete dedication and sacrifice, you can’t go wrong.
We had a show for the years. The players proved their versatility.
The youngsters were so motivated that they cared about each point and fought hard for. At one point, Zverev even fell badly, being caught on the contre-pied. Even though it was physically impossible to reach that ball, he made the effort, taking the risk of injuring himself. At that moment I saw crystal clear: this tournament is not, by any means, an exhibition one.
In the second set, Sascha lost a bit his way and couldn’t find solutions against an inspired Denis. When taking advice from his captain, Borg, Federer popped in and gave his take on the situation as well. Zverev listened with great admiration and applied perfectly what was told.
This duel showed that Tennis has a great future ahead. I’m sure we will see many more battles against the spectacular youngsters. Zverev won, but only just. His experience had the last word in the end.
The last match of the day was the doubles match, where world number 1, Nadal, teamed up with Berdych and bad boy Kyrgios fought alongside Sock. The Australian played before alongside the American and that seemed to have made the difference. It was a hard fought match, which the World team won, but only just.
Day Two will bring the first match of Roger Federer. And the points double, so the stake is bigger. There were no surprises during the day one, what about today?