Nadal's ATP pullout leaves Federer as last man standing

Doug Mendoza
November 15, 2017

Jack Sock mounted a spirited fightback to claim a first ATP World Tour Finals victory that leaves Marin Cilic facing an early exit.

The 36-year-old Swiss guaranteed himself a place in the last four of the Nitto ATP Finals at the 02 Arena when he saw off an initially vigorous challenge from Germany's Alex Zverev, who finally showed a British crowd what all the fuss is about.

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"I'm not the type of guy that will just enter a draw and be happy to make the third round or the quarters or whatever".

Zverev and American Jack Sock will now battle it out for a place in the last four but Cilic has been knocked out of contention.

Sock defied the odds to qualify for the season-ending tournament for the first time and boosted his chances of reaching the semi-finals with a 5-7 6-2 7-6 (7-4) victory over the fifth seed in Group Boris Becker.

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The 19-time Grand Slam champion broke in the first game of the second set to establish an iron grip on the round-robin match but Zverev hit back in the fourth to get back on level terms. I think it's not the time of the year for clay, so there you have it.

Federer, who beat Sock in his first match, is the standout star at the tournament after the withdrawal through injury of world number one Rafael Nadal.

Cilic looked set to come out on top when he claimed the first mini-break of the tie-break, but Sock showed incredible athleticism to dart in and guide away a victor after a Cilic shot struck the net cord and he won five points in a row to seal a hard-fought victory. "I'm relieved and I know now I can play freely against Marin Cilic knowing that I have qualified".

"He had a really nice season, especially the beginning, now the end. It's an unbelievable atmosphere, you make me feel like home". I'm excited to get the win and stay alive.

"Definitely disappointing in both matches in that third set, being in a good position, putting myself in a good position", he said. I'm here to win matches.

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