Roger Federer has sent tennis fans into a frenzy with some incredible words of wisdom for Alexander Zverev at the Laver Cup.
Team Europe retained the Laver Cup on Monday (AEST) after Alexander Zverev beat Kevin Anderson to give Bjorn Borg’s side an unassailable 13-8 lead in the team event.
Zverev won the final five points of the match to defeat Anderson 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 (10-7) and increase Team Europe’s advantage to an unassailable 13-8 – denying a final deciding rubber scheduled between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios.
However it was an ‘insane’ mid-match pep talk from Federer to Zverev that was the major talking point afterwards.
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Zverev had just dropped the first set to Anderson and appeared to be struggling with the big South African’s serve.
Enter Federer, who showed off his incredible tennis IQ with some words of wisdom that turned the tide for Zverev.
“You can return from where Bjorn (Borg) said or you can find your return position,” he said.
“But once the rally gets going, you have to remind yourself to keep your position or move forward. Stop moving back and back and back.
“That’s why he’s able to get all these volleys because he has too much time, he gets a metre or two closer to the net.
“He gets a split second more time to get his legs in position or to run around, all this stuff.
“If you get closer to the baseline he won’t have that time. That’s my opinion.
“You slice and you come back so just stay in that position. Then you can also see the short balls.
“Back there you don’t have any short balls anymore so it’s hard to stay offensive.”
Zverev used Federer’s advice to turn the tables on Anderson, breaking serve soon after and going on to claim victory.
Tennis fans were left in awe of Federer’s remarkable pep talk, commending the Swiss legend for providing such a unique insight into his mind.
The detail with which Federer went into while on-court coaching Zverev at 6-7, 5-4 – worth the Laver Cup’s existence on its own to be able to hear it.
— David Law (@DavidLawTennis) September 23, 2018
The Tennis IQ of Roger Federer is insane. 👌 Great on court coaching advice to Zverev. That's the unique thing about LaverCup I like. Get to see how this genius thinks.
— Tennus (@T3nnus_) September 23, 2018
— T. Muguwe, MD (@tmuguwe) September 23, 2018
Plus his earlier comments about not losing energy, not getting frustrating, and keeping the crowd engaged. The coaching from #Federer has been exceptionally good. The amount he's giving Zverev shows how closely he's been watching him and how much he wants him to succeed beyond LC
— Jack Rossiter-Munley (@JackRossiterMun) September 23, 2018
Federer coaching Zverev in German 🤣 https://t.co/d5XTbvnS4c
— Natalia (@arkulari) September 23, 2018
I want to see more of Coach Federer.
— Roger Buchana (@Butters360) September 23, 2018
I am loving seeing Roger like this more each time! Too bad the ATP doesn't have on court coaching… Could be the future!! 😂🎾💚🎾😂 #LaverCup
— Hope Gainey (@hope_gainey) September 23, 2018
Federer will definitely become a coach after he retires.
— Enrico Pangan (@enrico_pangan) September 24, 2018
Roger is definitely more 'coach' than Borg, haha.
— Himalaya Goro (@himalaya_goro) September 23, 2018
I could watch this over and over… Roger giving coaching tips is just pure gold 😂🙏
— L I S A M O T T (@LisaJMott16) September 24, 2018
Fed is sprinkling a little of his greatness 🤩 okay I can see future coach Federer!!!!
— Adonis Mendoza (@adomendoza) September 24, 2018
Zverev later admitted that Federer’s advice helped him win.
“He helped me a lot. He gave me some tactical advice and it worked,” Zverev said.
“I won the second set and I won the match tie-break. It was a team effort, everyone supporting, the energy was unbelievable.”
Earlier in the day, Federer survived two match points to overcome John Isner 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (8-6) 10-7 to put Europe 10-8 ahead.
Federer and Zverev had squandered two match points gone down to Isner and Jack Sock in the opening doubles of the final day 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 9-11 as Team World took their first lead in the event at 8-7.
Team Europe won the first Laver Cup last year in Prague.