Roger Federer had a great start to his Nitto ATP World Tour Finals campaign in London as he eased to a straight-sets win over debutant Jack Sock after just 94 minutes of play, prevailing with a 6-4, 7-6 scoreline. The whole encounter featured just one solitary break of serve in the opening game and the rest of the match went on serve, with Sock playing some clutch tennis to fend off other break points and managed to make the match competitive with his exceptional serve and forehand.
Best possible start for the Swiss
Federer came into the match firing, blasting a powerful backhand down-the-line winner on the first point before hitting the exact same shot to grab the break in the opening game. The legendary Swiss made the right decision to receive after winning the coin toss, knowing that Sock would start the match being nervous considering that this was the biggest tournament of his career.
The American’s big forehand was his lethal weapon and was also what allowed him to get to deuce in his first return game, but the backhand was his downfall as he made a couple of crucial errors and allowed Federer to consolidate the break for a 2-0 lead.
Federer takes the first set 6-4
The set then went on serve but both players continued to find opportunities on the return, with three consecutive games going to deuce at one point in time. Sock actually went toe to toe with Federer in most aspects of the game — but not the backhand. He was missing almost everything on that wing, which ultimately proved costly. Although the American kept on applying the pressure in the return games, Federer was still able to seal the first set 6-4 after 38 minutes of play.
Sock remains clutch and fends off multiple break points
The second set was, in a way, a drastic contrast as compared to the first. Both players started to serve really well and dominated play throughout their service games, resulting in just three points being won by the returners in the opening six games. Federer finally earned the first break points of the set, but consecutive backhand errors allowed Sock to escape from the brink and remain on serve.
Federer continues to miss on his opportunities but seals the win in a tiebreak
Federer was simply clinical on his serve, with Sock barely able to even points off them. The American continued to win the crucial points as he fended off another two break points in the ninth game with the Swiss maestro's usually-reliable backhand betraying him when it mattered. Five backhand errors on his five break points meant that the set was brought into a tiebreak, with Sock staying clutch on the important points.
Federer earned the early mini-break but Sock soon grabbed it back with his third point won on the return throughout the whole second set. 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.