Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock defeated Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the doubles match on the first day of the Laver Cup in London which was the farewell match for the Swiss maestro. Tiafoe was quite aggressive in his play and fired some shots that went straight to the bodies of Federer and Nadal during the match for which he was criticized for his antics, especially towards Federer in his final match.
Reilly Opelka, the American player stood out in support of his compatriot Tiafoe against the trolls that targeted the latter for his fiery and aggressive shots and could have hit the opponents. Opelka takes a sly dig at the trollers stating that they are not much aware of tennis and rather should the talents for pickleball. He said “I understood. So next time Frances should think about a forehand at 100 km/h right in Fed’s forehand volley because it’s his last game… cool.“
Opelka replied to a tweet on his social media account on Twitter saying “If you’ve played tennis, you know that returning a serve over 100 km/h from a left-hander isn’t the easiest thing to do. And most of the time, the safest return is a big shot in the middle. It is clear that you have never played, which is why I recommend that you put your talents to the service of pickleball.“
Frances Tiafoe played a crucial role in Team World’s maiden Laver Cup victory
Team World clinched their maiden title at the Laver Cup defeating Team Europe 13-8 despite starting the final day trailing 4-8. They needed three wins to make history whereas Team Europe needed two match wins.
Prior to the match, Team World had managed to take the lead with 10-8 and was one win away from winning their maiden trophy in the history of the tournament whereas Tsitsipas needed the win to keep hopes alive for his team. Frances Tiafoe defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third match on the final day in a highly intensive and crucial match where it was a do-or-die situation for both teams. With the win, it was not a happy ending for Roger Federer since it was his final ATP tournament.
Tiafoe during the post-match conference refused to apologize for his behavior or his on-court antics to Roger Federer rather added that the Swiss maestro should be the one who should be apologizing to everyone on the Tour for defeating them in the past 24 years for which he was highly mocked for not showing some amount of respect towards the legend.