Federer, Zverev win ATP Finals openers

Roger Federer opened his ATP Finals campaign with a straight-sets win over America’s Jack Sock in London on Sunday.

The 36-year-old six-time winner beat his younger opponent, who was making his finals debut, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) at the O2 Arena.

Federer capitalised on some early nerves by Sock to break in the very first game and held on to take the set despite some tenacious play from the 25-year old.

The Swiss stayed strong on serve in the second set, losing just two points on his first serve as he clinched the match with a tie break to win the Boris Becker Group’s opener.

The win took the veteran’s record to 53-12 in the year-ending spectacular.

“I’m very happy to see that I didn’t have to pay the price for taking it easy and resting and recovering,” said Federer.

“But then turning it up the last few days got me in shape for today. Now I think I’m in the tournament. There’s no more turning back. Just full steam ahead every match that comes.”

In Sunday’s other match, Alexander Zverev defeated Marin Cilic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the group’s second round-robin match.

Third-seed Zverev broke serve in the opening game and went on to take the first set, but Croatian fifth seed Cilic came back strong and looked on course for victory when he broke for 3-1 up in the decider.

However, the 20-year-old German had other ideas and won five of the next six games to clinch the win.

“For the most part of the second and third sets he was the better player, I was just happy to come back and get the win,” said Zverev after the match.

On Monday, the Pete Sampras Group gets underway with Dominic Thiem taking on Grigor Dmitrov and then Rafael Nadal against David Goffin.