Roger Federer looks to keep the ball rolling on Tuesday evening at the ATP World Tour Finals but may have his work cut out against Alexander Zverev. Both he and the German are in prime position to advance to the semi finals after winning their opening rubbers on Sunday. With their losing opponents facing off earlier in the day, it also gives them a better idea of what they need to qualify.
While not defeating Jack Sock in such emphatic fashion as many expected, Federer was mostly untroubled by the American in his 6-4 7-6 win. He was dominant on serve throughout, dropping just 4 points on his first serve. This meant Sock never managed to get into any games on return. A sole break point was all Federer needed in the first but he did go 0 from 5 in the second set. “I’m happy that I was able to come out today and had actually good energy. This is the best I’ve felt since the del Potro finals. I’m very happy to see that I didn’t have to pay the price for taking it easy.” he said in the post match press conference.
Zverev had it much tougher in his opener, needing 3 sets to beat Marin Cilic. After winning the first set, Cilic took charge, finding himself 3-1 up in the decider and really should have closed the match out. Zverev showed great fight to come back, eventually breaking to love in the 10th game of the match for his first ever win at the year end event. “The court conditions were fine. All of us, we practiced here the whole week. We’re quite used to it. Obviously a match is still different. A lot of nerves come in. I felt a little bit nervous coming out for the first time here. I think that’s normal for anyone that is playing here for the first time.” Zverev said of his feelings after match 1.
The pair have played twice this year and four times overall, splitting those matches. Zverev was a winner in the Canada Masters final while Federer won in Halle a year after Zverev had beat him. The German’s ability to keep up with Federer suggests he is here to stick around and if anyone can stop Federer in this tournament, it feels that Zverev has the best chance with Rafael Nadal now out of the event due to his knee injury.
Prediction – Roger Federer in three sets