Federer, Djokovic clash over ATP Finals future

Roger Federer will be aiming to claim his 100 title at the 2018 ATP World Tour Finals and his seventh at the same event having been crowned champion at the season-ending finale in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011.

As he slammed back returns from every corner of the court, stretching like a band and focused like a monk, the Swiss had just one wow moment.

Such is the nature of the beast with the season-ending Tour Finals, the best players in the world are competing, making life especially hard for Federer.

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 was guaranteed as soon as Rafael Nadal withdrew from the last Masters of the season in Paris.

That followed the injury withdrawal of Del Potro, who reached a career-high ranking of third this season and reached the final of the London event in 2009.

While Zverev does not support numerous new innovations at the Next Gen Finals - a tournament for the best players aged 21 and under and which he skipped to play at the ATP Finals in London, he says towel rails or boxes could be a benefit.

"I'm sure their fellow commuters won't forget the night they boarded the same Tube carriage as some of the finest tennis players the game has ever seen", said Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President. "I'm ready to go again now", he said.

"But there was always a part of me that believed I could make it back and I never thought it was impossible". The second of the 2018 tennis season has been incredibly kind to the Serbian. It's a very cool way to make an entrance. Following this, the top two from each group qualify to Saturday's semi-finals, with the final scheduled for Sunday. After scooping the Wimbledon title, Djokovic has won the Cincinnati Masters, US Open, Shanghai Masters and Paris Masters, making him the hot favourite to win the ATP Finals title. Djokovic, Zverev, Marin Cilic and John Isner are in the other pool, "Group Guga Kuerten".

Also in the Lleyton Hewitt group, in the early undercard, Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson takes on French runner-up Dominic Thiem.

All told, it's tough to give Anderson's head to head record much credence, and I don't think it has any bearing whatsoever on today's match. If surprise successes in men's tennis are few and far between, London, hosting its 10th edition of the ATP Finals, may not provide one either, because Djokovic has moved on from a will-he-won't-he at the beginning of the year to becoming the man to beat at the end of it.