December 14, 2018

Jack Sock wins in ATP Finals despite rude awakening

15 November 2017, 01:12 | Anna Jefferson

Alex Zverev is competing at the end of season championships for the first time. Reuters Tony O'Brien

Alex Zverev is competing at the end of season championships for the first time.                  Reuters  Tony O'Brien

Roger Federer unquestionably beat Jack Sock during his opening ATP Finals match, but he also sprang a major goof when he totally dorked what should've been an easy forehand.

A day after the ATP Finals lost Rafael Nadal to injury, Roger Federer lifted spirits at the O2 Arena by extending his stay to the weekend.

But Sock somehow raced to the dying ball and clipped it back into the open court to draw level, before seizing the momentum to win the next three points and the match.

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

Cilic had thrown away a break in the decider to lose against Alexander Zverev on Sunday and he managed the same again as Sock fought back to win 5-7 6-2 7-6 (7-4).

Sock showed the sort of fighting spirit that enabled him to win the Paris Masters title and sneak into the last Finals spot, getting back on serve when Cilic fired a forehand into the tramlines under pressure.

Nadal, who certainly enjoys playing on clay, had earlier vented his frustration about the hard-court surface at the ATP Finals and suggested that it would be better if the season-ending event at least occasionally took place on his preferred surface.

Watch as they tackle some of the most famous phrases to come out of London's East End, with Federer's befuddled response to, "Blimey mate, I'm Hank Marvin" a particular highlight.

It even won him a 4-0 lead in the ensuing tie-break, only for Federer to up the ante and squeeze him into he bursts. "I'm relieved and I know now I can play freely against Marin Cilic knowing that I have qualified".

Ultimately, the more experienced Croat Cilic, who has a poor record in the end-of-season finals, proved just too erratic, mixing his 35 outright winners with 37 unforced errors.

"It was a good battle and I always enjoy myself at this handsome arena", said Federer, who has now reached the semi-finals 14 times. It's an unbelievable atmosphere here and I love playing in London and in front of the fans here.

"Definitely disappointing in both matches in that third set, being in a good position, putting myself in a good position", he said.

"I'm just going to try to be a little bit more stubborn in my preparations maybe for the next match, and hopefully next year".

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