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Tennis 10sBalls Shares Ricky’s Preview And Pick 4 Sunday Aft. @ The Nitto World Tour Finals: Federer vs. Sock

Switzerland’s Roger Federer in action against Belgium’s David Goffin during their semifinal match at the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament at the St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, 28 October 2017. EPA-EFE/ALEXANDRA WEY



By Ricky Dimon

Roger Federer and Jack Sock will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers when they meet again in the opening singles match of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday afternoon.


Federer has taken all three of their previous encounters and has never donated a single set to Sock. The current world No. 2 got the job done twice in 2015 (6-3, 6-2 in Indian Wells and 6-3, 6-4 in Basel) before winning 6-1, 7-6(4) in the Indian Wells semis earlier this year.


Sock figured he would be on vacation at the moment instead of getting another shot at the 19-time Grand Slam champ, but what a difference one week makes. Although American was not even in the realistic year-end championship discussion going into the Rolex Paris Masters, he rolled all the way to his first career Masters 1000 title and stole the final London qualifying spot from Pablo Carreno Busta. Sock’s trip to the trophy included defeats of Kyle Edmund (from 5-1 down in the final set), Lucas Pouille, Fernando Verdasco, Julien Benneteau, and Filip Krajinovic.


To say Sock’s title came out of nowhere would be an exercise in the understatement. The world No. 9 was a dreadful 13-16 in his last 29 matches prior to arriving in Paris. By comparison, he was 18-3 in his first 21 matches of the year.


“I’ve had a rough season pretty much since March,” Sock reflected. “Coming in this week I had no idea I could even make London. It wasn’t in my head. I just wanted to play some good tennis my last week and go start my offseason.”

Federer, of course, was never in doubt for London. He has been consistent the whole year–to the extent that he has suffered just four losses to go along with his 49 wins. The Swiss won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in addition to titles in Indian Wells, Miami, Halle, Shanghai, and Basel. As those results show, Federer is no longer hobbled by the back injury that reared its head at the U.S. Open–where he succumbed to Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarters. The 36-year-old is 10-0 in his last 10 matches, having prevailed in both Shanghai and Basel along the way.


Federer’s illustrious World Tour Finals history makes this an even more daunting task for Sock, who is making his first trip to the O2 Arena. Federer is 52-12 lifetime at this event (25-7 in London) with six titles. His bid for a seventh should begin in routine fashion.

Pick: Federer in 2


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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