Monday night’s BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden had a new format and many fresh faces, and once again delivered a fun and exciting night of tennis to the New York City crowd.
In the end, it was Team World, comprised of Lleyton Hewitt, Nick Kyrgios, Kei Nishikori and Garbine Muguruza, who came out victorious, beating Team Americas, made up of Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, Jack Sock and Juan Martin del Potro, 29-24 after the six-flight, World TeamTennis-style matchup on Monday night.
The first match up was men’s doubles as Hewitt and Kyrgios took on Sock and Roddick. Neither side was able to muster up a break point and it headed into a tiebreaker, which was won by the Australian duo to give Team World the early advantage.
Andy Roddick and Jack Sock, both Nebraska natives, came up short against Nick Kyrgios and Lleyton Hewitt in the evening's first match.
Following the doubles match, Hewitt and Roddick remained on court to play the second flight, pitting the two all-time greats of their era together against one another. Once again, this set would be decided in a tiebreaker, and Hewitt was able to outlast the American to bump the Team World lead to 10-8 heading into the third flight.
Team World continued to hold off any attempt at a Team Americas comeback as Muguruza and Nishikori hung on to beat Venus and del Potro 5-3 in the mixed doubles flight. This was one of the more exciting matches of the evening as both sides volleyed back and forth during long rallies and Nishikori hit the shot of the night, hitting a volley at the net and then doing a 360 spin to chase down another volley and win the point.
Venus would give the Americas its only victory as she came back to beat Muguruza 5-4(7-2) in the women’s singles match. The crowd got really excited when Venus was subbed out for a USTA Play for Life Ambassador to play a point against Muguruza, and then Muguruza was subbed out as another one of the young players came out to play a point against Venus.
Venus Williams high-fives one of the Play for Life Ambassadors who came out on court to play a point against Muguruza.
In what was probably the most intriguing matchup, Kyrgios took on Sock in the fifth flight as the two big-hitters traded blows and even threw in some tweeners to the delight of the Madison Square Garden crowd. At one point, Sock’s good friend and Olympic gold medalist fencer Miles Chamley-Watson came out of the crowd to play a point against Kyrgios, and even tried his hand at a tweener, but was unsuccessful.
Once again, this set was played into a tiebreaker, and Kyrgios came out victorious to all but ensure the victory for Team World.
The final set of the night saw del Potro take on Nishikori, and the fifth-ranked Nishikori outlasted the Argentinean in a tiebreaker, clinching the victory for Team World.
Kei Nishikori won both of the flights he participated in, including hitting the shot of the night during his mixed doubles match.
Jack Sock fires a serve during his singles match against Nick Kyrgios.
Many local clubs brought some of their players to take in the action at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, including New Jersey's Centercourt (left) and CourtSense (right).