Team World promised to come back stronger and take the trophy when the Laver Cup moves to Geneva in 2019 after suffering a second heartbreaking defeat in Chicago.
The red team fought back from 7-1 down on Saturday to take the lead on Sunday afternoon, eventually going down 13-8 in Match 11 of a possible 12.
“I am so proud of these guys, it is awesome to be the captain for Team World,” said captain John McEnroe. “We’ve got great camaraderie, and damn it we’re going to win this one next year!”
Despite the presence on Team Europe of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, with 34 Grand Slam titles between them, the World side had chances to make the contest even closer.
“We had four matches [where] we had match point, but I felt the team was going to perform well, I really did,” added McEnroe.
“I thought we had a great chance. Obviously they have got two of the greatest players that ever lived and other tremendous players.
I knew our team spirit was great. I thought we were going to win this. I really did – John McEnroe
“We battled hard. I knew our team spirit was great. I thought we were going to win this. I really did.
“You know, we started a couple matches early that we could have won. We didn’t. We were sort of desperately unlucky, and we could have very easily won this.”
Jack Sock again proved himself to be a leading light on Team World, both on court as he shone in doubles, and off court where he led the cheer squad alongside good friend Nick Kyrgios.
“We all grew closer for sure this year week,” said the American. “Hopefully a lot of us can be on the team again next year and build off this.
“Now we all kind of know what it’s like. I think we are all pretty motivated and excited to try and bring the Laver Cup back to Team World.”
Kevin Anderson made his Laver Cup debut in Chicago, returning to the city where he went to university and met his wife, and a special weekend was made all the more memorable with a win over Wimbledon and US Open champion Djokovic on Saturday.
“When I saw it was in Chicago, I was incredibly excited,” said the South African.
Just playing here with ‘the’ best crowd support I have ever had as a tennis player was definitely a highlight for me – Kevin Anderson
“Even though this week didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, just playing here with ‘the’ best crowd support I have ever had as a tennis player was definitely a highlight for me.”
Kyrgios is now a relative veteran of the event with two appearances and five points to his name, and looking forward to making a third appearance.
“As soon as it ended last year I just had my eye on it the whole year,” said the Australian. “I feel like I have built a lot of relationships from this event that we will have for a lifetime.
“I think it’s awesome, a great way for tennis to keep moving forward. At the end of the day, we are entertainers. I think a lot of the world is watching this week. I think it’s pretty successful.”
McEnroe is a firm believer in the format too, and will be back in Team World red next September in Geneva.
“I think that’s the part that I love about this so much,” said the seven-time Grand Slam champion.
“Sometimes you’ve got to think outside the box, and I think they have done that really well here.”