Federer, Zverev Win Open Up ATP Finals With Victories
by Staff | November 13th, 2017, 2:59 am
  • 58 Comments

Two players with vastly different ATP Finals experiences opened up play Sunday with wins.

Six-time champion Roger Federer began his 15th ATP Finals by edging tournament debutant Jack Sock 6-4, 7-6(4).

“I’m happy that I was able to come out today and had actually good energy,” Federer said. “This is the best I’ve felt since the Del Potro final (in Basel). I’m very happy to see that I didn’t have to pay the price for taking it easy and resting and recovering. But then turning it up the last few days got me in shape for today. Now I think I’m in the tournament. There’s no more turning back. Just full steam ahead every match that comes.”

Federer wins his 50th match of the year and is 11th in a row after titles this fall in Shanghai and Basel. He also stays a perfect 7-0 against Americans at the ATP Finals.

“I think we’re all going to start playing better every round that goes by,” Federer added. “It’s just still early days in the tournament. Can’t expect to play your best against the best players in the world in that first match.

“I think, like I explained on the court in the interview, it was more about managing the match rather than actually having a certain way how you play and what you were really thinking about. Sure, I had a tactical plan with my team. But very often in a first match like this, it gets thrown overboard because at the end you’re just happy to be serving well. Focus on that first, and then on the return game sort of try your best, try to keep the ball in play and go from there.”

Next for Federer on Tuesday in the Boris Becker group is 20-year-old Alexander Zverev. In his Finals debut, the German overcame a 3-1 third set deficit to beat Marin Cilic 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

“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 admitted. “I’m very happy to get my first win in this group.”

Zverev already beat Federer this year in Montreal and the two have split four meetings overall.

“I think anyone beating Federer in this group has a good chance of passing. But he’s the favourite definitely in all of the matches he plays,” Zverev said. “I played him a few times this year now. I played him three times, if you count the Hopman Cup match we played. Obviously, all of them were great matches. Hopefully it can be another one.”

On Monday, Rafael Nadal resumes his quest for a first ATP Finals title against David Goffin. Nadal, who has already locked up the No. 1 ranking, beat the Belgian twice this year on the clay. But Nadal enters this encounter off a knee issue.

“The knee is not perfect, of course, after having to retire from Paris,” Nadal told the BBC.

“In a couple of days you cannot expect to be 100% but I had treatment and I’m expecting to be better and better every day. I’m here to try my best to give me a chance.”

Earlier, Grigor Dimitrov makes his ATP Finals debut against Dominic Thiem. After losing to the Bulgarian in Brisbane, Thiem snuck past Dimitrov in a final set breaker in Madrid.


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58 Comments for Federer, Zverev Win Open Up ATP Finals With Victories

Tennis Magic Says:

Federer did just what was needed to win and not a bit more. He seemed rusty and Sock was nervous. But Feds dominated for most part, especially on his serve ….. http://www.138mph.com/tennis-federer-subdues-jack-sock-in-the-atp-finals-in-london-and-the-americans-win-the-fed-cup/


j-kath Says:

Tennis Magic: Agree.


t4t Says:

Fed admits the court has been speeded up to favor players like him! Straight from the horse’s mouth!
#Cult Still Clamoring for Proof?


t4t Says:

Does anybody remember this? A couple of years ago, Fed was grumbling about slow courts so the tournament director of Paris-Bercy got the court speeded up. Fed was happy but unfortunately in the semi or final he got defeated. Then he said too fast is not good as it favors guys with a big serve, even unidimensional ones. Paris-Bercy then reduced the speed a bit the next year. So now WTF surface is just right for Fed but a bit slow for Cilc.


AndyMira Says:

I don’t understand why Thiem don’t want to send the ball to Grigor’s FH at all!Even when the space was empty on Grigor’s FH side…to me,Thiem’s game is not attractive at all…Not aggresive enough…


lylenubbins Says:

Good advice from Fed: concentrate on holding our own serve, and get the other guy’s serve in play and then see what you can do.


Margot Says:

Gorgeous Grig wins…in the end lol!
AM and RZ: We need to get behind Thiem with a pointed stick and get him to come forwards because his volleying skills are good!
But AM is right his default position is somewhere on the horizon. Also standing further back to receive 2nd serve than first. WTH? You’re not on clay here, Preppy Boy.


j-kath Says:

I was rooting for Thiem to support the Thiem Team. Both guys played similarly – huge, and often high, passing shots. Some carelessness from both of them – but such a close, enjoyable match.


AndyMira Says:

M!….Urgh!!..Very disappointed to see Thiem lose again..But then i knew he’s not going to win against the in form Dimi..heck!Rafa barely survived against this Dimi!!..I really want to see Thiem improved many things next year..he’s already got his huge serve,speed…all he have to do is varied his shots..make it more aggressive…we saw many times,when he decided to unleashed his huge FH to Dimi’s FH,he made a winner…He needs to do that constantly…

I also noticed,he didn’t use any slice at all..he could do that to disrupt Grigor’s rythmn actually…Ermm,I don’t think he will win any matches in his group…


Margot Says:

AM: Yeah re slice, whereas GG caught him out every time with a cunning slice. Think he could beat Goffin don’t you? He could blast him off the court or wee Dave could make him run and run and…
Kath: Like GG too so it’s all good. His movement is divine and his ROS seems mightily improved. Still inclined to get tight at crucial moments tho :( I think he’s a much better player than Preppy but a much worse match player.


Daniel Says:

Glad Dimi won, hope he qualifies. He started the year well, he can at least finish with a bang again.


AndyMira Says:

M…Wee David will eat him alive with his constant DTL shots!…He’s also will take the ball really early and punish Thiem constantly with his much more flatter shots…The surface with a lower bounce & fast will give an advantage to David..And Thiem who has more spin on his shots will have trouble to handle wee David later M…You’ll see…


RZ Says:

Margot and AM – yes, we need a prod to make Dom stay closer to the baseline. Actually I think his result today (close 3 setter) is pretty good considering indoor is his worst surface and possibly Grigor’s best surface.


Margot Says:

RZ: I’d say grass is GGs.
AM: I shall watch the match with great interest Oh great one…;)


Madmax Says:

So bored by t4t and child, how strange not to comment on safe wanting pretty much every tournament he plays on to be clay..now that’s a talking point. Yet still they are both fixated with our maestro.

Of course to engage in a serious discussion about this far outweighs their existing capabilities.

Massive double yawn


Mridul Says:

Don’t think Rafa is gonna make it through to semis this time, he just doesn’t take the ball early enough. Even Thiem can eat him alive on this surface. He may even lose all 3!


AndyMira Says:

RZ,M!…yeah!!…We must do that!…I wonder why he still stay with Bresnik..or at least add someone with fresh & new ideas to cover the weaknesses..he will burned out in no time if he don’t make an improvement to his style…


gonzalowski Says:

Hm Rafa has left the ball on a tray to Goffin, and break 6-5


Van orten Says:

Doesn’t matter how early Goffin takes the ball . What a choke . Jesus h Christ !!!! Well we all know roger is no goffin material !!!


Mridul Says:

Only if Goffin wasn’t a mental midget…


Van orten Says:

3:3 Hahahahah will nadal goffin himself into trouble?


gonzalowski Says:

such a ‘bad playing’ from 2 of them


Van orten Says:

Goffin needs a bathroom break !!! His pants are wet


skeezer Says:

1 set = 1 hour Indoors. Unfrgginbelievable.


Van orten Says:

Even on ice it would have lasted min 50 min skeez


skeezer Says:

^LOL :)


gonzalowski Says:

just what Rafa’s knee needs, a long match


the_mind_reels Says:

@Van orten: hahaha.


Van orten Says:

Nadal won’t play the next match if he loses this one


Van orten Says:

HAhahahahaha micheal j fox : where is doc brown ??


Van orten Says:

Send me back to future pls


Van orten Says:

Poor goffin ! But what a choke on match point . His arm was heavier than a 1000 tons


Van orten Says:

Call Hannibal Lecter … he will need him after the match


gonzalowski Says:

come on Rafa!!!! 4-2 (am I watching it with retard?)


Van orten Says:

At least u made it a match goffin now go back to the Sandkasten and play with your friends


Van orten Says:

Hey gonzo Stronzo gonzo stronzo


Van orten Says:

Please don’t steal stuff


gonzalowski Says:

hahaha Van Orten
yes Goffin had to have finished Rafa yet, horrible match IMO


Van orten Says:

Goffinowtiz stronzo himself out of the match


gonzalowski Says:

no I’m watching the live scores ;)
Goffin’s girl is hot indeed


Van orten Says:

It is terrible …but fun to watch though !!! Rafa will roll now !!!


gonzalowski Says:

one thing Rafa is doing well is placing the bottles neatly arranged


gonzalowski Says:

a gesture of pain on the knee uf, it must not be good to drag your feet on indoor as on clay


skeezer Says:

This thread is more entertaining than the match. LOL you guys….


gonzalowski Says:

Goffin starting to lose opportunities again, is like a curse, I want to go sleepin’ for christ’s sake, end it!


Van orten Says:

The German commentator says he will not feel bad at all for goffin if he loses this match ahaha


skeezer Says:

Never seen Goffin play so badly to win a match.


skeezer Says:

Tough draw for Goffin, but at least he is through.


Mridul Says:

Nadal waved to the crowd like someone who just played his last match this season.


gonzalowski Says:

Mridul yes agree


Van orten Says:

Told ya


fred stone Says:

Nadal, however, has cut short his Nitto ATP Finals. The Spaniard has withdrawn from the season-ending championships due to injury, and his countryman Pablo Carreno Busta will take his place in Group Pete Sampras.
(From the ATP web site)


the_mind_reels Says:

Why did his team clear him to play if there was any doubt he could play 5 matches? Even if he’d won tonight, it seems he still likely would have pulled out at the prospect of having to beat Dimitrov and Thiem back-to-back? Bummer for him and his fans.


skeezer Says:

Yep, memories of USO …….


the_mind_reels Says:

Now having read the article, I see that Nadal indeed was going to withdraw regardless of W or L. It’s a shame.


Daniel Says:

Was at a flight during the match. What a bummer. But best for him to recover and be fit for next season.

Now if Fed wins the title without losing a match he would finish the year 90 pts behind Nadal.


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