Roger Federer vs. Jack Sock: ATP World Tour Finals Match Preview

(Roger Federer – photo via zimbio.com)

World No. 2 and overwhelming favourite, Roger Federer will begin his campaign for a record seventh title at the ATP World Tour Finals with a meeting with the recent Paris Masters champion Jack Sock in London on Sunday. Will it be another straightforward victory for the Fed Express or will Sock upset him to continue his winning streak?

With French and US Open champion Rafael Nadal nursing a knee injury that could prevent him from giving his 100% at the event, Swiss maestro Federer is the pundits pick to claim his eighth trophy of the season at the O2 in the British capital. After all, the master even by his own lofty standards, has had a year to remember which included a fifth Australian Open crown, a record breaking 8th Wimbledon and three Masters trophies. He would love to add another silverware to his fast growing trophy cabinet by triumphing in the city that has been the most successful for his career.

Federer is coming into the tournament on the back of successive title wins in Shanghai and Basel, where he defeated Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin Del Potro respectively in the finals. In China, the 36-year-old was simply outstanding as barring a minor blip against the in-form Del Potro in the semis, he raced through the field and not even Nadal was able to find a way past him.

A week after his triumph in Shanghai, Federer played in his home town of Basel and despite suffering from fatigue, he was successful in thwarting the challenge of Del Porto to secure his 8th title at a place where he was once a ball boy. Federer then made an extremely sensible decision to opt out of the Paris Masters to get himself fully charged up for the all important World Tour Finals, a tournament that is dubbed as the ‘Fifth Grand Slam’. Although, his decision was heavily criticized by the organizers of the Paris Masters, Roger cited back trouble as the official reason behind the move. However, fans and experts alike knew it was a smart move by him as he wanted to remain injury free for a full blooded assault on the title in London.

On the other hand, in the absence of Federer and Nadal (who left the tournament midway citing knee issues), Sock took full advantage of the situation as he picked up the biggest trophy of his career by winning the Paris Masters. With Nadal withdrawing from the event and Argentine Del Potro losing early, Sock realized that it was his best chance to become the first American winner of a Masters trophy since Andy Roddick, who won in Miami back in 2010.

You never know what luck has in stores for you – the phrase proved perfectly apt for Sock as in the finals he met an opponent called Filip Krajinovic who was ranked No. 77 at that point of time and was virtually unheard of before the advent of the tournament. Still, Sock had to put his little known adversary away and he did so in some style and in the process, qualified for the season ending finale.

Head-to-head: The pair has met thrice in the past with Federer winning all three of those matches in straight sets. In their most recent meeting that took place earlier this year in Indian Wells, the duo played out an entertaining tie-breaker in the opening set before Sock’s complete annihilation in the second. Which Federer won with a margin of six games to one. In all probability, this match could see a similar result as a fresh Federer is generally an ominous sign to his challengers. Right after winning in Shanghai, Roger had stated that the World Tour Finals was one of his big goals in 2017 and he will leave no chance whatsoever in achieving that goal.

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