On this day: Rafael Nadal loses tight encounter to John Isner



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On this day: Rafael Nadal loses tight encounter to John Isner

The inaugural Laver Cup took place in September 2017 in Prague, with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal leading Team Europe against Team World. Team Europe had a massive lead after the opening two days, but that all could have changed on the third, with three points for every victory.

John Isner and Jack Sock kept Team World alive after winning the opening doubles clash against Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic, and Isner had to beat Rafael Nadal in the singles encounter to give Nick Kyrgios a chance to level the score against Roger Federer in the final encounter.

The giant server beat world no. 1 7-5, 7-6 after an hour and 30 minutes, playing on a high level to topple the world's leading player. John dropped only ten points behind the initial shot and got broken once. Nadal did not play a bad match either, but he lost his serve twice and fell short in the most critical points at the end of both sets to find himself on the losing side.

Rafael Nadal lost to John Isner in the Laver Cup.

Rafa lost his serve in the first game, fending off the first break chance with an ace, wasting a game point and hitting a costly double fault to push the American in front.

John saved a break point in game two with an ace and opened a 2-0 gap. Both players served well in the next seven games, with Isner serving to wrap up the set at 5-4. Nadal pushed a bit harder on the return and broke back with a backhand crosscourt winner to extend the set.

Refusing to play a tie break, John broke at 15 in game 11 following Rafa's forehand unforced error and held at love for 7-5 and a massive boost. The American fired an ace in the second set's second game before the Spaniard held at love to open a 2-1 gap.

Nadal secured the fifth game with a forehand winner and landed an ace at 3-3 to remain in front. Rafa served at 4-4 and saved a break chance with a service winner, although he could not do anything on the return after taking only two points behind John's serve.

Nadal held at love with an ace in game 11, and Isner introduced a tie break with another comfortable service game. The American secured a mini-break in the opening point with a volley winner and fired an ace for a 3-0 advantage. Returning at 6-1, John placed a volley winner at the net to celebrate the victory and keep his team in contention.