Roger Fed­erer beats Alexan­der Zverev to qual­ify for semi-fi­nals

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Roger Fed­erer got an up-close­and-per­sonal look at the fu­ture of ten­nis on Tues­day night but passed his ap­pren­tice’s thor­ough test at the ATP Fi­nals in London.

Alex Zverev has al­ready as­cended to world num­ber three – some 18 months faster than Fed­erer did at the start of his tro­phy­laden ca­reer.

He is ex­pected to climb higher with many tout­ing the 20-yearold Ger­man as a fu­ture world num­ber one but on this oc­ca­sion he had to set­tle for sec­ond best de­spite a fine ef­fort, los­ing 7-6 5-7 6-1 to the six-time cham­pion, who duly be­came the first man into the semi-fi­nals.

Jack Sock ends US drought with ATP Fi­nals win over Cilic

The United States has been wait­ing 10 years for a win at the ATP Fi­nals, few thought Jack Sock would be the man to de­liver it.

The No. 8-seeded player de­feated Wim­ble­don fi­nal­ist Marin Cilic 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (4) on Tues­day.

Sock lost his de­but match at the O2 Arena to Roger Fed­erer, but he is now 1-1 in his round-robin group.

While oth­ers might have been sur­prised at Sock be­com­ing the first Amer­i­can to win at the elite sea­son-end­ing event since Andy Rod­dick in 2007, the man him­self wasn’t.

“I wouldn’t be out here play­ing, com­pet­ing if I didn’t think I could give my­self a chance to win tournaments, to be here,” Sock said.

“I’m not the type of guy that will just en­ter a draw and be happy to make the third round or the quar­ters or what­ever. I’m here to win matches. I think if I do the right things and I play the right ten­nis, I can give my­self a chance to play on the week­end of any tour­na­ment.”

Cilic, who has won only one of his eight matches over­all at the sea­son-end­ing tour­na­ment, is 0-2 and will be elim­i­nated if Fed­erer beats Alexan­der Zverev in the late match.

“Def­i­nitely not a great record, but I felt that I played even well last year,” Cilic said. “In those three matches that I played, I had good chances at least to win. These two also. So just, you know, cou­ple points away from clos­ing those matches. A lit­tle bit un­for­tu­nate with that.”

De­spite hav­ing been forced out of bed in the early hours of Tues­day morn­ing by a fire alarm at his ho­tel, Sock made a fast start break­ing in the open­ing game, only to hand it straight back to his op­po­nent.

The next break point didn’t come un­til the 11th game. A mo­ment of huge for­tune saved Cilic as his fore­hand got a dead net cord, which Sock couldn’t track down.

The Croat made good use of his luck, break­ing in the fol­low­ing game to claim the open­ing set. A vis­i­bly frus­trated Sock re­ceived a code vi­o­la­tion as he blasted a ball into the up­per tier, but it seemed to work for him. The Amer­i­can broke Cilic in the open­ing game once more and did so again in fifth to level the match.

Cilic broke for a 2-0 lead in the de­cid­ing set, but Sock dis­played the fight­ing spirit that car­ried him to an un­likely Masters vic­tory in Paris last month, break­ing back in the fifth game and force a tiebreak.

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