ATP Finals: Alexander Zverev beats John Isner to set up Roger Federer semi-final

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Germany’s Alexander Zverev clinched his place in the ATP Finals semi-finals with a straight-set win which eliminated his American opponent John Isner from the season-ending event.

Both men dominated their service games, but Zverev nicked the first-set tie-break before breaking at the end of the second to win 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 in London.

Third seed Zverev will play Roger Federer in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Zverev’s win means Novak Djokovic is through as group winner.

The Serb world number one, who meets Marin Cilic in his final match on Friday, will play South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in the last four later on Saturday.

More to follow.

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Federer beats Anderson & reaches ATP Finals semi-finals in London

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Six-time champion Roger Federer beat Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-3 to secure his place in the semi-finals of the ATP Finals for the 15th time.

Federer’s victory means he tops his group to boost his chances of avoiding world number one Novak Djokovic in the last four in London.

The Swiss, 37, looked out of sorts when he lost his first match on Sunday but played much better against Anderson.

South African Anderson had already won two matches to reach the semi-finals.

Top seed Djokovic is already through to the semi-finals and can clinch top spot in his group by beating Marin Cilic on Friday.

Alexander Zverev, John Isner and Cilic are battling for the other semi-final berth.

More soon.

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Thiem wins to boost Federer’s hopes of making semi-finals

Dominic Thiem

Austria’s Dominic Thiem maintained his hopes of reaching the ATP Finals last four with a straight-set win over Japan’s Kei Nishikori in London.

The world number eight, who lost to Kevin Anderson and Roger Federer in straight sets in his previous group matches, won 6-1 6-4.

It means Federer will advance to the semi-finals if he wins a set against Anderson at 20:00 GMT on Thursday.

But if Anderson wins in two sets Thiem could progress with the South African.

More to follow.

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ATP Cup: Team tournament confirmed for January 2020

Novak Djokovic

The ATP and Tennis Australia have confirmed they will stage a new ATP Cup team event as a curtain-raiser to the 2020 men’s season.

It comes months after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) voted on a revamped and rival Davis Cup tournament from 2019, taking place in November.

In May, ATP executive chairman Chris Kermode said staging both tournaments within six weeks would be “insane”.

The ATP Cup will have £11.35m in prize money on offer.

It will feature 24 nations in six groups of four and ranking points will be available for players.

Meanwhile, the ITF event will be an 18-team end-of-season event, which will crown the Davis Cup champions from 2019.

ATP Player Council president Novak Djokovic, 31, has given his backing to the ATP Cup event: “I like that it’s owned by ATP, by the players.”

The tournament will lead into Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season, which takes place in Melbourne in late January.

“Australia is a country that has a Grand Slam, that nurtures tennis tradition.

“More than 90 percent of the time we’re playing as individuals and we don’t have too many team events. This is going to bring together a lot of nations and for me personally it will be a very nice and proud moment to represent my country.”

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Djokovic takes big step towards ATP semis

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ATP Finals
Venue: O2 Arena, London Dates: 11-18 November
Coverage: Follow live coverage across BBC TV, radio, the BBC Sport website & mobile app. Live text commentary available on selected matches.

World number one Novak Djokovic took a big step towards the semi-finals at the ATP Finals with a clinical victory over Alexander Zverev.

After a very physical and close first set, the Serb ran away with the second to win 6-4 6-1.

Djokovic, chasing a first ATP Finals title since 2015, will reach the last four if John Isner beats Marin Cilic later on Wednesday.

“I don’t think it was breathtaking tennis but a win is a win,” he said.

More to follow.

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Federer wins to keep alive ATP Finals hopes

Roger Federer

Roger Federer recovered from his first-match nightmare to keep alive his hopes at the ATP Finals with a comfortable victory over Dominic Thiem.

Switzerland’s Federer, knowing defeat would mean he would not advance from his group, beat the Austrian 6-2 6-3.

The six-time champion had slumped to a shock defeat by Kei Nishikori on Sunday but he cut down on his errors to win.

Next up for Federer on Thursday is Kevin Anderson, who beat Nishikori 6-0 6-1 earlier in the day.

Federer rediscovers positive mindset

Just before walking on to the court, Federer spoke of the need to be “more positive” in his mindset.

He arrived with a little smile and a few waves before making his intentions clear from the very first game where he carved out a break point.

Although he failed to convert that one, he made no mistake in Thiem’s next service game and celebrated with a fist pump when the Austrian sent a forehand long.

This was a completely different Federer to the one who had looked frustrated and grouchy against Nishikori in his opening round-robin match on Sunday.

And it was not just his mood that had improved considerably; his statistics had too.

Gone were the 34 unforced errors – instead a much more disciplined 11 – and with that a superb rate of 86% of first-serve points won and 81% of second-serve points.

He looked more like his old self and was helped by Thiem’s errors, summed up when the Swiss sealed victory after the world number eight hit a forehand long.

More to follow.

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ATP Finals: Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares reach semi-finals in doubles

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares

ATP Finals
Venue: O2 Arena, London Dates: 11-18 November
Coverage: Follow live coverage across BBC TV, radio, the BBC Sport website & mobile app. Live text commentary available on selected matches.

Britain’s Jamie Murray reached the doubles semi-finals of the ATP Finals in London for a third successive year.

The Scot and Brazilian partner Bruno Soares beat Colombia’s Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-4 6-3.

Breaks in the 10th game of the first set and fourth game of the second proved decisive as the fourth seeds sealed victory in one hour 13 minutes.

Murray served out the match, sealing victory when Cabal sent a forehand into the net.

The pair had also won a tight opening match against Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus on Sunday, meaning they make sure of progressing with a match to spare.

Group Llodra Santoro
W-L Sets Games
Murray/Soares 2-0 4-1 24-19
Klaasen/Venus 1-1 3-2 26-24
Cabal/Farah 1-1 2-2 19-19
Mektic/Peya 0-2 0-4 19-26

Analysis

Mike Dickson of the Mail on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

It was a really excellent performance. They weathered that storm in the first set when the Colombians came back at them and won it at the end. It was then plain sailing in the second set.

You have to think, is this going to be their year? You could not have asked for more than that in this game.

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ATP Finals: Kevin Anderson thrashes Kei Nishikori for second win

Kevin Anderson

ATP Finals
Venue: O2 Arena, London Dates: 11-18 November
Coverage: Follow live coverage across BBC TV, radio, the BBC Sport website & mobile app. Live text commentary available on selected matches.

Kevin Anderson is in a strong position to qualify for the semi-finals after beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-0 6-1 to claim his second ATP Finals win.

The South African, 32, comfortably won the first set to love in just 32 minutes at the O2 Arena in London.

Anderson, ranked six in the world. broke again early in the second set and led 6-0 5-0 before Nishikori finally held serve.

ATP Finals debutant Anderson is top of Group Lleyton Hewitt.

He has not dropped a set after beating Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-3 7-6 (12-10) in his opening match.

Nishikori had beaten an out-of-sorts Roger Federer 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 on Sunday and could still qualify for the last four.

Swiss world number three Federer – who is chasing a 100th career title – faces Thiem on Tuesday, not before 20:00 GMT.

More to follow.

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Dominant Djokovic beats Isner in ATP Finals opener

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ATP Finals
Venue: O2 Arena, London Dates: 11-18 November
Coverage: Follow live coverage across BBC TV, radio, the BBC Sport website & mobile app. Live text commentary available on selected matches.

World number one Novak Djokovic underlined why he is favourite to win the ATP Finals with a commanding win over John Isner in their group opener.

The Serb, 31, was in devastating form as he easily dealt with the big serves of American Isner in a 6-4 6-3 victory.

World number 10 Isner, making his debut at the season-ending tournament, was broken in the fifth game of the first set and seventh of the second.

Djokovic then sealed the win on Isner’s serve with a crosscourt backhand.

Earlier in the day, Alexander Zverev beat Marin Cilic in straight sets in the other match in the Gustavo Kuerten group.

More to follow.

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ATP Finals: Alexander Zverev punishes Marin Cilic with straight-sets win

Alexander Zverev

ATP World Tour Finals
Venue: O2 Arena, London Dates: 11-18 November
Coverage: Follow live coverage across BBC TV, radio, the BBC Sport website & mobile app. Live text commentary available on selected matches.

Germany’s Alexander Zverev punished Croatian rival Marin Cilic’s inability to take his chances and opened his ATP Finals campaign with a 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) win at the O2 Arena in London.

Cilic, 30, served for the first set but made three unforced errors and a double fault as Zverev broke back for 5-4.

Zverev, 21, went on to take the tie-break and then fought back from a break down midway through the second set.

Cilic saved a match point at 5-4, but Zverev clinched victory in the breaker.

Zverev, like he did in the first-set tie-break, raced into a comfortable lead in the second decider, taking the second of five more match points with a serve out wide which Cilic could not return.

World number one Novak Djokovic aims to move level with Zverev at the top of Group Gustavo Kuerten by beating American John Isner in Monday’s evening match at the season-ending tournament (20:00 GMT).

More to follow.

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