Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Roger Federer practices in London ahead of Sunday start

Roger Federer practices in London ahead of Sunday start

Roger Federer would like the ATP Finals to remain in London beyond 2020 unless there is a compelling case to move the tournament.

The two men, with 34 Grand Slams between them, are the twin titans at the season-ending event at London's O2 arena.

Federer, who plays Japan's Kei Nishikori in his tournament opener at London's O2 arena on Sunday, said overall he is happy with his season.

Isner hopes to make a similar impact to compatriot Jack Sock, who reached the semis on his debut past year before losing to eventual champion Grigor Dimitrov.

Nishikori will be making his third appearance at the finals and he has performed well on his previous two visits, reaching the semi-finals in both 2014 and 2016.

"I don't think it matters really where I win my 100th as long as it's going to happen at one point", said the 37-year-old, who has not won the ATP Finals since 2011.

Nishikori opens his tournament against world number three Roger Federer and admitted it would be tough after two recent losses against the Swiss. "I don't have much to lose, so I'll play loose and free".

Back inside the Top 10 for the first time since August 2017, Nishikori's road to the being considered one of the best players in the world started off by losing a first round challenger match at the beginning of the year.

Federer will have been buoyed by his battling performance against Djokovic in the semi-final of the Paris Masters last week but he still lost the match - his fourth consecutive defeat against Djokovic, with the Serb now leading their head-to-head 25-22.

"Lucky for me", he said.

He struggled to find his best tennis when he returned to the court but reached the final of Queen's before winning Wimbledon and the US Open. I never thought it was impossible but I thought it might take more time.

But world number one Djokovic, who has won the event five times - four times in London - said he was in favour of moving the tournament around to promote the sport. "It turned out to be a ideal five months".

Nadal confirmed a week ago that he would not be able to play in London after undergoing ankle surgery in a bid to be fit for the start of the 2019 season, while Del Porto hurt his knee while playing in Shanghai in October.

Zverev, 21, has been touted about as one of the leaders of the new generation and has won three Masters titles in his short career but he has flattered to deceive at the Grand Slams.

But it is hard to see anybody other than Federer or Djokovic prevailing.

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