When Rafael Nadal 'coached' Roger Federer against Nick Kyrgios
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 7843
Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios met in the singles encounter at the Laver Cup in Geneva in 2019. Federer beat Kyrgios 6-7, 7-5, 10-7 in an hour and 50 minutes for Team Europe's fourth triumph in five encounters and a 5-3 advantage ahead of the remaining two clashes of the second day.
The Swiss lost just 19 points on serve and faced only one break chance, giving the opening set away before sealing the deal with a steady performance in the match tie break. The Aussie struggled more in his games but fended off five out of seven break opportunities offered to Roger to stay in touch until the encounter's closing moments.
Almost nothing could separate them in the opening set, with ten commanding holds, one break on each side and close battle until the tie break's finishing stages. Federer broke in the fourth game when Kyrgios sent a forehand long, but his advantage was a short-lived one after spraying a forehand error in the next game to bring Nick back into contention.
The Aussie held after deuce to level the score at 3-3, and they both served well in the remaining games to set up a tie break where Federer created a 4-0 gap. After that, the Swiss started to miss more and allowed Kyrgios to bounce back and move 6-5 in front with a risky serve that barely hit the line.
A forehand down the line winner in the 12th point sealed the second set for Kyrgios after 49 minutes, making a great comeback and a big step towards the finish line. Serving at 73%, Federer had the advantage in set number two, gave away only seven points behind the initial shot and waited for a chance on the return.
Roger Federer defeated Nick Kyrgios in Laver Cup in Geneva two years ago.
Nick struggled to land the first serve in and fended off the first four break chances before Roger seized the fifth and took a 6-5 lead before holding at love in the next one to introduce the match tie break.
There, Federer grabbed five straight points from being 2-0 down and remained calm until the end, crossing the finish line in the 17th point when Kyrgios sent a forehand long to propel Team Europe 5-3 in front before the night matches.
Rafael Nadal was there to cheer for Roger and give him some advice. Federer praised Nadal, liking the clarity in Nadal's voice and calling him a problem-solver after finding solutions in every situation. "Judging by the result, Rafa and I did a great job.
I enjoyed his clarity and advice. It was a similar match to the one Nick and I played in Prague two years ago. It was a baseline struggle, and Rafa knew how much I had to push to stay aggressive and avoid mistakes. Rafa is a great problem/solution-finder; I saw already in ours doubles match how passionate he is about finding new solutions or a winning pattern.
Rafa isn't scared of changing a winning tactic, investing wisely and staying at the top for all these years. It's enjoyable to hear him speak, especially during the encounters," Roger Federer said.