A fascinating year has almost come to an end and all that Roger Federer now needs is the ATP Finals title to sum up another glorious year of his illustrious career. Having won the title 6 times, he is well on course to claim a 7th. After top ranked Rafael Nadal pulled out of the tour, things look a bit easy for the Swiss stars as FEDAL were back to their best in the year winning two Grand Slams each. But if anybody can stop him, it has to be his next opponent Alexander Zverev Jr of Germany.
After having it easy in the first match against Jack Sock, who is playing his 15th year-end championships, the 19-time Grand Slams winner would be up against young sensation Zverev. It is expected to be a mouth watering clash given their records and rankings when the two clash in Group Boris Becker tonight. While Federer is ranked 2nd by ATP, Sascha is ranked 3rd. The head to head meeting also makes it interesting as the two have met 4 times and have shared the spoils.
The form, too, should be considered almost equal, or slightly better for Federer, after both won their first match of the tournament. While Zverev has settled his nerve of debut in the Year-ending championships, Federer has no such pressure. However, the legend knows that the youngster, who idolises him, can give him a run for the money and would not take anything lightly. Few may contest that this is probably the easiest that Federer has faced in his year-ending championships.
Federer’s opponent in his debut at the event is now the coach youngster who is playing his first match.
While Federer secured a relatively straight-forward 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over the American, Zverev had to dig deep to peg back a 1-3 deficit in the deciding set of a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Cilic. After his fourth FedEx ATP Head2Head win in five meetings with the Croat, Zverev admitted to those first-time nerves.
If Federer won 7 titles in the year, Zverev also won five—including two Masters after defeating Djokovic and Federer respectively. “I think anyone beating Federer in this group has a good chance of passing,” he said. “But he's the favourite, definitely, in all of the matches he plays. 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.”
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Mohit Raj is a passionate sports lover who venerates Sachin Tendulkar and Roger Federer. For him it's more about passion than job. He hails from Muzaffarpur and has spent his childhood in the Garden City of India.
Working at SportsFlashes for 6 months