Fed­erer’s high praise for ris­ing young star Zverev

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Uk World Today -

ROGER Fed­erer hailed Alexan­der Zverev as the com­plete pack­age af­ter beat­ing the Ger­man up-and-comer to book his place in the last four of the ATP Fi­nals.

The 20-year-old Zverev showed Lon­don’s O2 Arena why he will surely be­come a star of men’s ten­nis one day — but Fed­erer’s own time is far from fin­ished yet and his class even­tu­ally told.

Six­teen years and 19 grand slam ti­tles sep­a­rate this pair but, re­mark­ably, it was Fed­erer’s legs that were fresher in the de­cider. Af­ter two hours and 11 min­utes he had won 7-6 (8/6) 5-7 6-1.

It means the 36-year-old is cer­tain to move i nto this tour­na­ment’s semi-fi­nals, even be­fore his fi­nal group match against Marin Cilic, while Zverev faces Amer­i­can Jack Sock for the sec­ond qual­i­fy­ing spot.

Zverev is yet to make an im­pact at a grand slam but if the world No 3 over­comes Sock, a Fed­erer re­union in Sun­day’s fi­nal would seem a dis­tinct pos­si­bil­ity.

“What I like about Zverev is he’s got the full pack­age,” Fed­erer said.

“He’s al­ready three in the world. I think he’s go­ing to leave the World Tour Fi­nals, re­gard­less if he qual­i­fies for the semis or not, with a lot of in­for­ma­tion.

“I think the last six months of the sea­son gave him ev­ery­thing he needs to work for­ward to.

“Then, of course, he’s only go­ing to get stronger from here. That should be very en­cour­ag­ing for him and his team.”

Fed­erer re­mains favourite to claim a record-stretch­ing sev­enth ti­tle, even more so af­ter Rafael Nadal joined Andy Mur­ray, No­vak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Mi­los Raonic on the side­lines.

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