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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday September 24, 2021

 
berrettini laver cup

Matteo Berrettini and Felix Auger-Aliassime played a marathon Laver Cup battle on Friday, and John McEnroe loved every minute.

Photo Source: Getty

Matteo Berrettini’s 6-7(5), 7-5, 10-8 victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime on Friday at TD Garden in Boston was the longest match in Laver Cup history at two hours and 52 minutes. According to Team World Captain John McEnroe, it was also the best.

Tennis Express

“I give them credit," McEnroe told reporters after the match. "I've got to say the match that Felix just played with Matteo is one of—I have been part of Laver Cup, this is my fourth time doing it, one of the best matches, bar none, that I have ever seen played. Absolutely just enthralling.”

Team Europe Captain Bjorn Borg agreed: “It's ranked in the top definitely. It was a long match and good tennis. They both played good tennis, and Matteo to pull that one off was a great thing. They both were fighting and both wanted to win. It was a great match. I mean, long match. You know, I enjoyed watching these guys play. Like I said before, you know, to be around these champions here, it's the future of tennis. To see them play and to coach them, and to be on the court with them, that's a great thing.”


Berrettini, who saved 12 of 13 break points and rallied from a set down to improve to 4-1 lifetime against Auger-Aliassime, was pleased to earn the victory in front of an enthusiastic tennis crowd at TD Garden.

It may have not been on par with McEnroe vs Borg Wimbledon final, 1980, but it was pretty special either way.

“Great atmosphere,” the Italian said. “I really enjoyed every minute out there. I think it was special, no? The best way to start like such a special competition with Bjorn on my side, so it's just great, you know. I really enjoyed. I'm really happy that at the end I got the win. Could have done, could be either ways, but so happy that I brought the point for Team Europe.”


The victory for Team Europe closed the day session as it handed the three-time and undefeated Laver Cup champs a 2-0 lead. But there’s a long way to go, thanks to the Laver Cup format. Matches count as a point apiece on Friday, two apiece on Sunday and three apiece on Sunday. The first team to earn 13 points is the eventual champion.

“But it's a long way to go,” Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg said. “This is the first day, the first two matches. But I'm very proud of them. I mean, you can cannot ask for a better start in Laver Cup, and we got the perfect start. Like I said, there is a long way to go.”


 

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