Roger Federer qualified for Wolrd Tour Finals for a record 15th time. He started the 2017 campaign with a convincing victory over Paris’s champion, Jack Sock.
In the second match of the Round-Robin stage, the Swiss Maestro met the Next Gen Superstar, Sascha Zverev. The youngster proved to be a redoubtable opponent, as the players’ record was split, 2-2, before this encounter.
This match was special as I managed to attend it from the O2 Arena.
I got to see Federer practicing before the doubles match and the exciting spectacle of lights and images on the court.
When Federer – Zverev started, the stadium was packed, as I couldn’t see any empty seat.
As expected, we witnessed a tight match. The players fought hard for every point and both kept full focus for first two sets.
Federer struggled for form, as his first serve rarely went in and his backhand proved to be a weakness, which Zverev smartly took advantage of. He was often arriving late to points.
Sascha started to serve better than his rival and Federer grew frustrated, unable to find too many solutions. The match didn’t had a great rhythm at first, as the stakes were high and the players kept it simple and had short points.
When the rallies got longer, the youth of Zverev proved to be an advantage, as he was winning most of them. Somehow the 36 years old found a way to clinch the first set in a tight tie-break.
The 19-times Grand Slam winner started the second set as a storm, breaking the German’s serve, only to lose his a game later. Afterwards, Roger’s form dropped significantly. His serve was weak, as not only his first serve wasn’t going in, but also his second was predictable. He was losing almost each point played on his backhand and was going late for points.
At this point, I believed Federer is carrying an injury, but it seems that due to Zverev’s persistence the Swiss was pushed back and unable to respond in time. The youngster managed to push the match into a decider.
The third set was a completely different story from the first two, as the GOAT took charge. The set ended in a harsh 6-1, but the difference wasn’t that big. Alexander started indeed to make too many unforced errors, his serve crashing as well. He even finished the match with a double fault.
The German totally lost his temper, as Federer was able to claim the victory, 7-6 (6), 5-7, 6-1. Roger Federer now qualifies for the Semi-Finals for a record 14th time.
The great champion proved that even when struggling for form, his kind manage to find a way to win it. He wasn’t in his best shape by any means, but he crushed Zverev in the third, 6-1. That’s unreal.
In the other match of the day, Jack Sock defeated Marin Cilic, 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (4), to keep his chances alive to qualify for the Semi-Finals. This year’s Wimbledon finalist, Cilic, is eliminated from the prestigious event, going out with a negative 1-7 record over all. His last match will be against Roger Federer.