Sock, Federer win at ATP Finals

Ross Houston
November 15, 2017

The American looked in trouble as he twice slumped into perilous positions but dug himself out of each hole to secure a 5-7 6-2 7-6 (7/4) victory at London's O2 Arena.

The American No 1 increased his advantage in the second set with a further break of the Cilic serve to move 4-1 ahead before he served out with an ace to force the deciding third set - the fourth time already this week that a match has gone the distance.

Cilic faces Roger Federer in his final round-robin match, while Sock will be up against Zverev in London as he attempts to pull off more stunning exploits in what has been a glorious end to the year.

"I love playing in front of the fans here - they make it feel like home".

Federer plays Cilic on Thursday afternoon, clearly created to ramp up day-time ticket sales in a tournament shredded by the absence of the injured Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Warwinka, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori, as well as the less-than-surprising departure of Rafael Nadal after limping to heroic defeat on one good knee against David Goffin on Monday - and Sock plays Zverev in the evening TV slot.

The next break point didn't come until the 11th game.

"I think Jack is playing really good", Cilic said. It's an wonderful atmosphere, you make me feel like home.

"It was a tough one for sure", he said in his post-match interview on court.

Sock's nothing-to-lose mentality helped him, too, and there were deft drop shots and unexpected selections from the back of the court, with some fun with the crowd along the way as he kept his hopes of a semifinal place alive.

The ageless Swiss resisted a sprited challenge from German prodigy Alexander Zverev to close in on an unprecedented seventh season-ending championship with a 7-6 (8-6) 5-7 6-1 victory on Tuesday night. "In those three matches that I played, I had good chances at least to win".

Despite having been forced out of bed in the early hours of Tuesday morning by a fire alarm at his hotel, Sock made a fast start - breaking in the opening game, only to hand it straight back to his opponent.

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