Federer, Nadal see no need for change

Aubrey Yates
November 13, 2017

American Sock started slowly against one of the greats of the game and, nearly inevitably, he was punished.

Nadal will have another opportunity to avenge defeat against old nemesis Roger Federer in that final but only time will tell how much this latest injury affects his performance.

"Turning it up the last few days got me in shape, now I think I'm in the tournament", he said. He limped and even dragged himself around the court.

What is clear is that a year after we reached Peak Murray, the British No 1 will do everything he can to regain his glories of 2016.

He made a surprise visit on Saturday to practice with Austrian Dominic Thiem in what looked a heartening move, and could be back again this week. However, from 4-4, Federer stepped up his game and clinched the last three points of the match to grab the win after an hour and 34 minutes of play.

Naturally, he does not agree with Rafael Nadal's assertion that the Finals should be staged on clay every now and then. 'There's no Masters 1000 event on grass and one indoors.

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In a weird moment in the middle of the first set, the rookie American, playing in the showpiece event for the first time, hit a poor drop shot, inviting the simplest of put-aways. But then he went and won the Paris Masters (after recovering from 5-1 down in the deciding set against Britain's Kyle Edmund in the second round) and suddenly found himself thrust into the top eight who are not now injured.

There was a moment of levity towards the end of the first set when Sock, who had messed up an attempted drop shot, showed his posterior as a supposed target for Federer, who proceeded to hit the net.

"It was a courageous move for him to just put himself out there, give it a go", said Federer.

Aiming to end a sensational year as he began it, Swiss master Roger Federer opened his bid for a seventh ATP Finals title with 6-4 7-6 (4) victory over American debutant Jack Sock on Sunday.

It was hardly a categorical statement of his fitness, and he will still check on the problematic right knee Monday before going on to face David Goffin in his first match of the round robin.

The imposing Croatian came ever so close to winning a second career Grand Slam, making his debut in this year's Wimbledon final before losing to Federer in straight sets.

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