John McEnroe ‘kept dropping F-bombs’ at his Team World players according to Frances Tiafoe in order to inspire his team to victory in the Laver Cup for the first time. The tournament was Roger Federer’s last in professional tennis but Team Europe fell to an unexpected defeat after their opponents dominated the final day of the competition.
Team Europe had entered the final day of the event in a strong position having taken an 8-4 lead into the final day by winning three out of four of Saturday’s fixtures. However, each match was worth three points on Sunday and Team World were able to claim victory with a match to spare after winning the first of the ties meaning Federer would finish his career without one last trophy.
It was Tiafoe who completed the victory for Team World having beaten Stefanos Tsitsipas via a champions tie-breaker despite losing the first set to the world No 6. Now, the US Open semi-finalist has revealed their team captain was swearing at them in an attempt to jeer them up for the competition. McEnroe has lead Team World for each of the previous four iterations of the event, with his first win finally arriving yesterday.
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“Our captain Johnny Mac [John McEnroe] was tired of losing,” Tiafoe told Tim Henman on Eurosport after the match.
“He kept dropping f-bombs saying we needed to get it done this year. It’s the fifth try. I kept saying all week leading up that this was going to be our year. And yeah, the guys showed up. Felix beating Novak today, Jack and Felix also played unbelievable doubles today.
“We all did it together. I showed a lot of heart to get this done. I was getting my a** kicked there for a while, I just kept going. So, we’re going to celebrate big tonight.”
Team World had been up against it going into the final day but overcame their deficit to Team Europe thanks to the actions of Felix Auger Aliassime, Jack Sock and Tiafoe. McEnroe was in a celebratory mood after the match as took in his team’s success.
“I’d say that amazing would be an understatement right now, it’s been a long time and we’ve been beat up a few times but we’ve been so close we could taste it,” the American said.
“You know I didn’t really need to fire them up a whole lot as you pointed out we lost the first four so we were sick of, you know…my brother said it aptly, no one beats Team World five years in a row.
“This is a great young group of guys we’ve got here, we kept battling, it looked like we were in trouble. I got one more year to go and it’s going to be incredible. I’m loving every second right now everybody.”