ATP finals, London: Roger Federer to play Kei Nishikori

10 Novembre, 2018, 11:39 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have called off their controversial pre-Christmas exhibition match in Saudi Arabia after the ankle injury that has kept the Spaniard out of London's Nitto ATP Finals.

Amnesty International had urged Nadal and Djokovic not to play. Each has beaten the other at all the four Majors.

Djokovic is seeking his fifth ATP Finals title in London to go with his first, which he won in Shanghai in 2008. With Djokovic ranked No. 1 and the Swiss No. 3, there was a chance that the two might be drawn into the same group.

Former champion Andy Murray, still making his way back from injury, and defending champion Grigor Dimitrov are other star names missing.

Djokovic picked up two awards, while Federer continues to dominate the fan favorite category. "You don't get any presents when you're playing against the Top 8".

It happens annually and signifies the season's end. Federer hasn't quite played well this season and has scraped past many an opponent, but he has reasons to be optimistic. I just can't tell you how he's feeling'. "He protects his serve very well".

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"I feel you can very quickly play top-30 level", Federer replied when quizzed about Federer's return. Overall I'm happy with my game. It's better than it was in Basel.

ASB Classic Tournament Director Karl Budge says having players involved in the prestigious end of year event is a real boost for the tournament.

The question has been hanging around like a bad smell since they announced the lucrative one-off contest last month, which would have paid them at least $1 million (£770,000) each. His rise to the No. 1 spot, after being outside the top 20 as recently as in July, has been meteoric. Reaching his maiden Grand Slam final at the French Open this year, losing to Rafael Nadal, he comes into this event with a 2-4 win-loss record in London.

Perhaps the match most indicative of this was his straight-set demolition of Federer on the high-speed courts at the Cincinnati Masters in mid-August. His coach, Marian Vajda, was named ATP Coach of the Year.

Does all this mean that the other six men in the fray at the Finals will be reduced to supporting actors or is there a pleasant surprise in store like Grigor Dimitrov's triumph previous year? "Djokovic, Zverev, Cilic, Isner is a pretty rough one". Thiem has recorded two wins in two editions so far.

The seven-time champion may not come on the back of the most promising run, but Federer is always one of the favourites going into the Tour Finals in London.



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