LONDON: Matteo Berrettini fired Team Europe back in front against Team World at the Laver Cup after he edged Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(11), 4-6, 10-7 to move his side into a 4-2 lead, here on Saturday.
In a hard-fought battle, the Italian caused damage with his aggressive forehand, while he hit his backhand slice with great depth to keep the Canadian at bay.
The World No.15 saved one break point in the first set, before raising his level on serve in the Match Tie-break to seal victory after two hours and 15 minutes.
"It is always a great fight against Felix. We played for two hours and 15 minutes and he is a hell of a player. I had to play my best tennis in the [Match] Tie-break to win. I am really happy because I didn't win just for me but for the team," Berrettini said in his on-court interview.
The 26-year-old now leads Auger-Aliassime 4-1 in their ATP head-to-head series, having defeated the 22-year-old at the Laver Cup last year. Cameron Norrie will look to extend Team Europe's lead when he faces American Taylor Fritz in the second match of the afternoon session.
Captain Bjorn Borg is aiming to guide Team Europe to its fifth consecutive Laver Cup title against John McEnroe's Team World this week in the UK capital.
The sides ended the first day level after Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe clawed past Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Swiss star's final tour-level match on Friday night. Each victory on Saturday is worth two points. IANS