ICYMI at The ATP Tour Finals — Roger Federer misses one big target against Jack Sock

Tennis


LONDON — Roger Federer was in a jocular mood as he answered a question about Jack Sock‘s backside in a news conference after his 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory against the American on Sunday.

The world No. 2’s face had a pained look during the match when he netted with most of the court open and his opponent — having all but given the point up — bent over and facing the other way at the net.

But Federer saw the funny side later: “It was a big distraction, I’ll tell you that, because [Sock’s posterior] was very big. That’s what I should have aimed for. That target was bigger than the down-the-line court that I had.”

When Sock was asked if he was surprised Federer had missed that shot, the American responded that it wasn’t the first time he had turned his back like that. “I did it more for fun,” he said in his post-match news conference. “Probably do it three times a year. No, it’s not a normal tactic.”


Nadal on course for Monday match

Rafael Nadal said “see you tomorrow on court” as he signed off from an address to the Centre Court crowd after receiving his year-end world No. 1 trophy at the end of the Federer-Sock match.

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.

But the signs earlier in the day were good as his coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, gave something verging on an update to ESPN:


Murray still on the mend

Rafael Nadal hasn’t been the only injured member of the Big Four getting back to full fitness at the ATP Finals in London.

Last year’s world No. 1, Andy Murray, who is nursing a hip problem, was also practising at the O2 Arena this weekend; he was moving better, too, than he had in Glasgow last week for his exhibition match with Federer.

Dominic Thiem, who he was hitting with, will begin his Finals campaign against Grigor Dimitrov on Monday.


Early birds catch doubles magic

There was a bit of a late rush from fans to get into the O2 Arena in time for the start of the opening session of the ATP Finals at midday.

Maybe it was just a weekend thing, or the fact that the first match on was doubles, but the crowd — eventually filling the stands around the court — couldn’t complain about a lack of entertainment.

Michael Venus and partner Ryan Harrison marked their debut at the O2 by defeating the reigning champions, Henri Kontinen and John Peers, 6-4, 7-6 (8), but that passage of play tells its own story.



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