Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Nadal's ATP pullout leaves Federer as last man standing

Nadal's ATP pullout leaves Federer as last man standing

He hit a powerful forehand victor to let his intentions known early on and set up three break points in the opening game.

Sock, who seized qualification by winning the final Masters event of the season in Paris, lost his debut match to Federer, but he is now 1-1.

"It is frustrating, absolutely, at the beginning of the third set I played well", Cilic said. "I think I first qualified for this tournament in Shanghai in 2002 when I was 21, so I'm very excited for Alex - he has a very bright future ahead of him".

Roger Federer booked his spot in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals after a hard-fought win over Alexander Zverev, which saw the Swiss cut a frustrated figure throughout.

World No. 3 Zverev, 20, has set tongues wagging having won five tournaments this year, including beating Federer in the final of the Rogers Cup in Canada.

The American fought back from a set down, and a 3-0 deficit in the decider, to triumph 5-7 6-2 7-6 (4). But Zverev produced two breaks of his own to level the match. The serve again dominated until the 12th game when, just as Zverev had in the first set, Federer faced set points on his serve.

Zverev has been touted as the leader of a pack of young players hungry to oust the creaking old guard but Federer, who has suffered only four defeats all year, shows no sign of slipping.

Jack Sock kept his hopes alive in the ATP finals with a courageous display, emerging from the brink of defeat to beat Marin Cilic 5-7 6-2 7-6 (4) in a dramatic if erratic battle of the big hitters at London's O2 Arena on Tuesday. "The fire alarm went off at 4:00 am and we had to exit the building". It has mostly been played on an indoor hard-court, with other stints on carpet, grass and outdoor hard-courts when it was staged in various cities before setting up home in London in 2009. My coach growing up nicknamed me "Showtime" because I love playing in front of people, and there is always a lot going on.

The top two players from each of the two groups of four progress to the semi-finals. As the world's most formidable player on clay, Nadal has in the past suggested it would be better if the season-ending Tour Finals at least occasionally took place on his preferred surface.

With Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray sidelined through injury, Federer is the only genuine star left in London and is the clear favorite to lift his seventh year-end title at the grand old age of 36.

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