x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 15 October 2018

Laver Cup: Kevin Anderson stuns Novak Djokovic as Team World close gap on Day 2

South African's victory over the US Open champion kickstarted a night session dominated by the home team in Chicago

Nick Kyrgios, right, and Jack Sock concluded a successful night session at the Laver Cup for Team World with doubles victory. AP Photo
Nick Kyrgios, right, and Jack Sock concluded a successful night session at the Laver Cup for Team World with doubles victory. AP Photo

Kevin Anderson avenged his Wimbledon final loss to Novak Djokovic as Team World dominated the night session on Saturday to climb back into contention at the 2018 Laver Cup.

Anderson's surprise win, combined with a doubles victory by Jack Sock and Nick Kyrgios over Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin, slashed Europe's overall lead to 7-5 heading into Sunday's third and final day of the tournament.

Earlier on Saturday, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev powered Europe into a commanding 7-1 lead by winning their singles matches to set a daunting task for Team World in Chicago.

____________

Read more:

Laver Cup: Federer and Djokovic defeated in doubles but Europe hold Day 1 lead

Laver up: Novak Djokovic's debut gives Team Europe confidence of title defence

Comment: So far so good for Laver Cup but inclusion of women will spice up event even further

____________

South Africa's Anderson got the fight back started by upsetting reigning Wimbledon and US Open champion Djokovic 7-6, 5-7, 10-6 to earn two points at the United Center arena.

"We've had some really close matches that haven't gone our way and I really wanted to put us back in there," said Anderson. "It's not easy playing one of the best players of all time, but what an amazing atmosphere.

"It's just fantastic, for so many reasons. I felt I played a great match - beating Novak on any stage is great and here in Chicago makes it extra special."

Under the scoring system for the Laver Cup, victories on Day 2 are worth two points each, with victories on Day 3 rising to three points.

Defending champions Europe need 13 points to take the title, which is being held for the second time.

Heading into Saturday's match, 14-time grand slam winner Djokovic held a 6-1 career advantage, including a win over Anderson in July at Wimbledon. This was Anderson's first singles win over Djokovic in a decade.

On Saturday, they played the fourth 10 point tiebreaker of the tournament and it was the first win for Team World. Under the format being used for the tournament, a tiebreak is used instead of a decisive third set.

Anderson closed it out when the Serb fired a forehand into the net and the South African was mobbed by his teammates.

"Kevin was so well prepared for this, we needed this bad," said World captain John McEnroe. "It was absolutely awesome."

World No 2 Roger Federer was barely ruffled as he cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Kyrgios.

"I felt good from the beginning of the match and that's not usual," said Federer. "Usually you need matches to get going and play your best in the third round or quarters of a tournament."

Earlier, Zverev saved a match point to defeat John Isner in the day's opening singles rubber.

Zverev, 21, dug deep to hold off the big-serving Isner to win 3-6, 7-6, 10-7.

After dominating Friday's opening day, winning three out of the four matches, Europe's progress looked to be checked after Isner grabbed the first set against Zverev.

But rising German star Zverev showed great determination in saving a match point at 6-5 down in the second-set tie-break to level the contest.

Zverev then raced into the lead in the tiebreak before closing out for the win.