Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Federer eyes ATP Finals crown to reach career 100

He fell to Marin Cilic in the final of the 2014 US Open He fell to Marin Cilic in the final of the 2014 US Open
Rita Gibson | 10 November, 2018, 23:41

The final tournament of the 2018 tennis calendar commences tomorrow in London. "This event is the biggest event that the ATP owns and you have the best eight players in the world in a unique format, a round-robin system".

Each player plays the other group members, with the top two advancing to the semi-finals. In the semis, the victor of Guga Kuerten will play against the second-placed player from Group Lleyton Hewitt and vice-versa. I never thought it was impossible but I thought it might take more time.

"Every tournament I will play for the rest of my life I will have a chance to reach my 100th, but reaching it here in London would be extra special, having achieved so much success here and because of the importance of the tournament", commented Federer, who will play his first game against Japan's Kai Nishikori in Sunday evening.

It has taken Federer longer to hit cruising speed in the second half of 2018, perhaps in part because of a hand injury. "The 6'8" Anderson had battled to victory after being two sets and match points down (in third set) against Federer in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Zverev has had an inconsistent year, and his current form hasn't been very encouraging.

The Swiss legend is paired along with the likes of Kevin Anderson, Kei Nishikori and Dominic Thiem while Djokovic is with Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic and John Isner.

Can we say that there is a clear favorite here?

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Swede Mats Wilander, seven-time Major champion and one of the most serious watchers of modern-day tennis, had an interesting explanation for the lack of breakthrough champions.

Federer will definitely be the fan favorite in this group, and he is my pick too.

Federer will be the night match on Sunday against Nishikori, while the first singles match of the tournament will see Anderson face off against Thiem. He lost to Anderson in the final of the Vienna tournament but turned the tables against him in the Paris Masters.

He has been slotted with his Wimbledon tormentor Kevin Anderson in the group stage.

This tournament opener is a hard match to call as although Anderson has mostly had the upper hand in this particular rivalry, it is the Austrian who has won both their meetings in 2018.

The ATP Finals, as it is now known, began in Tokyo in 1970 and spent six years on the road before a 13-year stint in NY and a six-year stay in Frankfurt before spells in Hanover, Lisbon, Sydney, Houston and Shanghai.

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