Roger Federer will kick-start his ATP Finals challenge against the in-form Jack Sock in the opening match of the year-end tournament in London.
The Swiss world No 2 has claimed a season-best seven titles this season and is chasing a seventh title at the season finale while Sock comes into the tournament on the back of a career best victory at the Paris Masters.
Sock, one of four debutants in London this week, secured the final spot at The 02 with his title in the French capital and poses the weapons to trouble Federer but the American No 1 has never defeated the 36-year-old in his career.
Federer comes into London on the back of a 10-match winning run and is fresh after skipping Paris, where Rafael Nadal, who is likely to be the biggest threat to the Swiss, secured the year-end world No 1 ranking.
Season so far Live Tennis: ATP World Tour Finals
November 12, 2017, 12:00pm
Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass ATP Finals Singles – Group Becker Roger Federer Alexander Zverev Marin Cilic Jack Sock
Federer has enjoyed a renaissance in form after missing the second half of last year’s season through injury and has picked up two Grand Slam titles to move to 19 in total.
The eight-time Wimbledon champion, who started the year ranked world No 16, has lost a mere four matches this year and missed the entirety of the clay court season to improve his chances of success in the latter stages of the campaign, something which has paid off.
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Meanwhile, Sock moved into the world’s top 10 for the first time in his career with his title in Paris and under long-time coach Jay Berger is beginning to showcase his undoubted talent.
The 25-year-old showed a growing degree of maturity to claim his maiden Masters 1000 title and after making a strong start to the campaign, including winning titles in Auckland and Delray Beach, can look back on a successful year however he performs in London.
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Federer, unsurprisingly, is unbeaten against his American opponent and has not lost a set in their previous three encounters.
Story so far – Federer v Sock Event/Year Surface Winner Result Indian Wells/2017 Outdoor Hard Roger Federer 6-1 7-6 (4) Basel/2015 indoor Hard Roger Federer 6-3 6-4 Indian Wells/2015 Outdoor Hard Roger Federer 6-3 6-2
However, Sock did push the Swiss great in the most recent meeting which came earlier this year at Indian Wells, taking the second to a tiebreak, where Federer claimed the first part of the Sunshine Double.
Sky Sports’ Mark Petchey believes Sock could be a surprise package going into the season finale and highlighted his powerful all-round game as being a key strength but acknowledged Federer was the “clear favourite” for the title.
“Roger is the clear favourite but after that you have got to say there are a lot of players, if they are feeling fresh enough who have got a great shot at making a deep run,” Petchey said.
He added: “I definitely think Sock could surprise a few people.” He started the year strongly and I do feel as though when you have the kind of weapons he does – not just his forehand and his serve. He has got all the shots out there. If he is energised and he has got enough in the tank then he is difficult to break down.”
The season-ending extravaganza ATP Finals at London’s O2 in November ends another memorable year which will be covered via our website www.skysports.com/tennis with live blogs and updates as the season reaches its climax.
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