Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic divided over future venue for ATP Finals

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic divided over future venue for ATP Finals

It was an event that included the likes of Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov, so victory represented a big step in the career of the promising young Swiss.

In the ATP Finals opener on Sunday, South African Kevin Anderson beat Austria's Dominic Thiem 6-3 7-6 (12-10) in the "Lleyton Hewitt" group, which also boasts Federer and Kei Nishikori.

"There was never a doubt that he is strategically and technically the most dominant player in the world in recent times", said Cliff Drysdale, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist and commentator with ESPN, over the phone a few months ago.

"We knew we was going to be in a group with Federer or Djokovic so it was going to be tough either way", he told the press.

Zverev, who won three titles this year in Washington, Madrid and Munich, is very much seen among the next generation of tennis stars in the men's game but it is not just a changing of the guard he wants to see. What more can I ask for?

The 37-year-old has won a record six titles at the ATP Finals - including two in London - but has not lifted the trophy since 2011.

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Nadal now has 80 singles titles to his name, including 11 French Open wins and, aged just 32, could conceivably move up the list in years to come. "But I'm really happy for him, having made it here after being injured and a rocky start to the season".

However, Federer will be able to console himself not only with a century of singles titles if he is victorious at the O2 Arena but also with a succulent purse. I'm going to be the underdog. He reached the semifinals twice, in 2014 and 2016, and was beaten by Novak Djokovic both times. Moreover, the 20-time Grand slam champion has surpassed his rivals, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Djokovic is looking to equal Federer with his sixth title at the O2, while the Swiss has another big target in view, his 100th career title.

"I don't think it matters really where I win my 100th, as long as it happens at one point".

It is hard to judge which was the most surreal image on the eve of the ATP World Tour finals in London: Novak Djokovic scrolling through his mobile phone messages on the Jubilee line or the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, declaring his undying love for Roger Federer in the oil-painted shadow of Betty Boothroyd.

"I love playing this event, always have since the first in 2002, that was a massive highlight in my career and I had a good run..."

It has taken Federer longer to hit cruising speed in the second half of 2018, perhaps in part because of a hand injury.

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