Roger Federer wins opening match at ATP Finals

Roger Federer wins opening match at ATP Finals

Federer has qualified for the year-end showpiece a record 15 times, won it six times, and missed the Paris Masters to ensure he would be fully fit to produce his best here.

He added, "I can't predict what might happen in the next couple of days, but my feeling is that I'm here to play and to try my best".

Federer, in London for the ATP Finals, starting on Sunday, said he had enjoyed watching the matches on TV but urged caution.

"It's wonderful to be back, especially after missing a year ago with injury", he added. "But very often in a first match like this, it gets thrown overboard because at the end you're just happy to be serving well".

The Swiss broke Sock in the first game and then worked just hard enough to ensure the advantage stayed with him through the first set. "If he's here, to me that's a good sign", the Swiss said.

That was the only break point for either player in the first set.

Sock started the second set in style, holding to love in a game sealed by a stunning cross-court forehand that left Federer stranded.

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And Federer, undoubtedly, is the man for the big stage; he won 90 per cent points when his first serve went in and did not concede a single break.

Even after racing into a 40-0 lead in the fifth game, Sock was taken to deuce before finally fending off the threat.

Federer coolly took it to a tie-break, where he eased over the line to secure a deserved win.

"In a couple of days you can not expect to be 100% but I had treatment and I'm expecting to be better and better every day".

Sock's nothing-to-lose approach produced an engaging contest but Federer's clinical play was too much for him. "That's what I should have aimed for", he joked.

That stings, and Nadal is still grumbling about the way Federer disarmed his greatest weapon - red clay - by skipping the entirety of the European clay-court season.

Earlier in the year he had shown exactly why he has the ability to mix it with the best players in the world, beating both Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

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