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Fritz snatches win over Norrie as Team World pulls level again at Laver Cup

The American held his nerve in a deciding match tiebreak to level up the Laver Cup at 4-4 going into the evening session on day two in London

Taylor Fritz Laver Cup 2022 Taylor Fritz, 2022 | © AI/Reuters/Panoramic

American Taylor Fritz brought Team World level again at the Laver Cup as he beat world No 8 Cameron Norrie 6-1, 4-6, 10-8 on Saturday in front of a packed crowd in London’s O2.

The world No 12 let slip an 8-4 lead in the deciding match tiebreak but two backhand errors from Norrie handed Fritz victory and levelled the team event at 4-4.

Norrie, standing in for Rafael Nadal, who left the Laver Cup on Saturday due to personal reasons, fought hard but Fritz held his nerve in the end to get the job done and with two points for each win on day two, the teams are level going into the night session.

Level overnight on two points apiece, Matteo Berrettini had restored Team Europe’s lead by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (11), 4-6, 10-7 in the opening match of the day, making it 4-2.

Fritz races through first set, Norrie fights back

Norrie had the unenviable task of replacing Nadal, who had partnered Roger Federer in the Swiss’s last ever professional match on Friday evening.

For a set the Briton looked out of his depth as Fritz romped to an early advantage.

But the left-hander is made of strong stuff, mentally, and he cut down the errors and forced Fritz to go for too much. After trading early breaks in the second set, he broke again for 5-4 and served out to force a decider.

AI/Reuters/Panoramic

Fritz holds nerve in tiebreak

The American came out firing in the deciding match tiebreak, earning two mini breaks as he led 5-2 and then 8-4. “Let’s get this done,” he told captain John McEnroe at the change of ends.

But the dogged Norrie, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon this year, dug in and won four straight points to level at 4-4 only to dump a backhand in the net and on Fritz’s first match point, send another long.

Djokovic takes his bow

The night session will be a double-header for Novak Djokovic as the former world No 1 takes on Frances Tiafoe in the first match of the night session.

Djokovic will then partner Berrettini in the doubles against Jack Sock and Alex de Minaur.

EUROPE 4 -4 TEAM WORLD (AFTER 6 MATCHES)

Day 2:
Tiafoe (W) – Norrie (E) 6-1, 4-6, 10-8
Berrettini (E) – Auger-Aliassime (W) 7-6 (11), 4-6, 10-7

Day 1:
Ruud (E) – Sock (W) : 6-4, 5-7, [10-7]
Tsitsipas (E) – Schwartzman (W) : 6-2, 6-1
De Minaur (W) – Murray (E) : 5-7, 6-3, [10-7]
Tiafoe/Sock (W) – Nadal/Federer (E) : 4-6, 7-5, [11-9]

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