Roger Federer moved one step closer to winning the ATP Finals for the seventh time when he beat Alexander Zverev to become the first man to reach the final four in the season ending tournament.
Zverev was a game opponent, taking Federer to a tiebreaker in the first set, and then taking the second set from Federer, but he fell apart in the deciding set, winning only one game.
The outcome was 7 – 6 (8 – 6), 5 – 7, 6 – 1 in Federer’s favour.
Federer has made it to the semi-final round of the ATP Finals on 14 occasions, which is nothing short of amazing in and of itself.
After the match, he said, “It was a good battle and I always enjoy myself at this beautiful arena. I have so much fun playing in London and I have been so successful here. Thank you for making it such a special night,” he told the boisterous crowd of supporters in London’s O2 Arena. “I’m happy and relieved that I can play freely against (Marin) Cilic, instead of it being a nailbiter. It’s been a tough group so to be through in two matches is great.”
In the match between Federer and Zverev, there were no service breaks in the first set, although Zverev allowed Federer two chances to break and win the first set before he saved those points in the 12th game of the set to set up the tiebreaker.
Unfortunately, from Zverev’s, if not Federer and the spectators’ perspectives, he failed to take advantage of the 4 – 0 advantage he gained in the tiebreaker. Federer charged back to take a 5 – 4 lead, and then Zverev got to 6 – 5 and had a chance to win the set, but he again let Federer escape.
Federer then broke Zverev in the first game of the second set, but Zverev refused to surrender, getting a break of his own in the fourth game.
In the 12th game of the second set, Federer’s inability to consistently get first serves in cost him and Zverev took the set to force the third.
It was all downhill for the young German from that point. Zverev dropped a notch, and Federer pounced, breaking Zverev three times.