A returning Novak Djokovic proved vital for the chances of Team Europe in this year’s Laver Cup as the Serb won two consecutive matches to give his team some breathing room heading into the final day.
With the emotions of last night’s fixture behind them, John McEnroe’s Team World showed their mettle once again having been trounced 14-1 last year in Boston.
Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime, fresh off helping his country reach Davis Cup last eight, faced a surging Matteo Berrettini in the first contest. After a hard-hitting contest, the Italian won 7-6(11) 4-6 10-7 to earn two vital points for his side.
The celebrations were short-lived for team Europe as American Taylor Fritz drew Team World level at 4-4 with a 6-1 4-6 10-8 win over Briton Cameron Norrie, who replaced Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard withdrew for personal reasons.
With his side needing him the most and Roger Federer watching from the sidelines, Djokovic then turned the tide of the Laver Cup on its head with a commanding win over American Francis Tiafoe.
The Serb was not done yet as he teamed up with Berrettini in the doubles to beat the pairing of Jack Sock and Alex De Minaur 7-5 6-2 to give Team Europe an 8-4 lead heading into Sunday’s final four matches.
Individual matches were worth one point on Friday, two on Saturday and three on Sunday. Thirteen points are required to win the trophy.