Federer back in the groove

  • atp tour finals
- Agence France-Presse, LONDON
Roger Federer of Switzerland returns to Jack Sock of the United States during their ATP World Finals at the O2 Arena in London on Sunday.

Nov 14, 2017-Roger Federer made a strong start to his bid to cap his golden year with a seventh ATP Tour Finals title as the Swiss star defeated Jack Sock 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) on Sunday.

Four months after winning Wimbledon for a record eighth time just a few miles across London, Federer is back in the English capital aiming to cap a remarkably successful spell by lifting the silverware at the O2 Arena. In the other match in Federer’s group, promising German youngster Alexander Zverev showed his potential with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win against Croatia’s Marin Cilic.

When Federer missed last year’s Tour Finals through injury, it seemed possible he would never recapture his former glories. He came into 2017 having missed half of last season due to fitness problems and was without a Grand Slam since 2012. But the 36-year-old has enjoyed a stunning renaissance, winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon among seven titles—more than other male player over the last 11 months.

Federer hasn’t triumphed at the season-ending Tour Finals since 2011. But after seeing off Sock in his group opener, the world No 2 has now won his last 11 matches. That dominant streak has already earned him titles in Shanghai and Basel.

With defending champion Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka all absent from the Tour Finals due to injury, Federer and Rafael Nadal are the unquestioned headline acts. Having won the French and US Opens this year, Nadal has matched Federer’s unexpectedly dominant run as the old rivals hoovered up all four of Grand Slam crowns.

Nadal is already guaranteed to finish as the year-end world No 1 for the first time since 2013, making the 31-year-old the oldest man to earn that honour. But Nadal’s hopes of finally winning the Tour Finals for the first time could be hampered by injury. Nadal was due to open his campaign against David Goffin, however the Spaniard admits he is still struggling with the knee problem that forced him to pull out of the Paris Masters.

World No 3 Zverev is the youngest Tour Finals qualifier since Juan Martin del Potro in 2008, the 20-year-old having underlined his emergence with five titles this year. He gave an impressive show against Cilic, coming from 3-1 down in the final set to beat the former US Open champion.

Published: 14-11-2017 08:38

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