Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal stepped on the court together for the first time in Miami, 14 and a half years ago, and they forged one of the biggest rivalries in the world of tennis ever since, with every match being a chapter in the history of our beloved sport.
They both had an amazing season, currently ranked 1st and 2nd on the ATP rankings list, and they finally got a chance to play on the same side of the net, for the first time in their careers. In the final match of the Saturday’s program of Laver Cup, Federer and Nadal defeated the American combo of Jack Sock and Sam Querrey by 6-4 1-6 10-5, sending Team Europe 9-3 in front before the last 4 matches that will be played on Sunday (every will worth 3 points). The great duo lost the momentum in the second set but they were super motivated to win this one, charging through the match tie break to bring the win home, on what has been a historic day for everybody who loves tennis.
It has to be said that Sam and Jack probably earned the victory more, facing just 1 break point in the entire match (that cost them the opening set), and they had no less than 9 break points, converting just 2 in the second set, which wasn’t enough.
They lost all the momentum once the match tie break began, losing 8 out of the first 9 points, and that gap was just too big to perform any kind of comeback. Both teams played well on serve right from the start, with 6 easy holds, and Sock was the one who lost his serve first, getting broken in game 7 after some good shots from Roger at the net.
Nadal served in the 8th game to confirm the break, but he and Roger faced 4 break points before they finally brought the game home and maintain the lead. Sock pushed them with some fine strokes from the baseline, but he and Sam failed to make that final push and break back.
Federer served out for the set in game 10 after 39 minutes, and the holders of 35 Grand Slam titles were a set away from the triumph. Out of sudden, the magic disappeared and they started to struggle in the second set, while Querrey and Sock raised their level to get the advantage from both the baseline and at the net.
They broke Nadal in game 4 and Federer in game 6 to storm over the set by 6-1 in just 29 minutes, sending the match into a deciding tie break, with the momentum on their side. Still, Federer and Nadal found their drive again, creating an 8-1 gap with 3 mini-breaks, and they couldn’t waste such a huge lead even if they wanted.
The Americans came back to 9-5 but that was all they could do, losing the next point and the match, as Rafa and Roger started a big celebration with their team, a victory that meant a lot to both for so many reasons.