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Trust Zverev to nail spot in last four by booting out Sock

Federer may deliver another masterclass against Cilic

Alexander Zverev fully merits his rise to world number three
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Sky Arena & BBC2, from midday Thursday

Federer v Cilic 2pm
With Rafael Nadal having withdrawn from the ATP Finals after his first match, a good deal of pressure will have been taken off Roger Federer's shoulders in London.

He is the only member of the oft-cited Big Four still standing in the season-ending tournament and, having already nailed a place in the semi-finals, is expected by most to coast to the title.

In the knowledge that he won't now get his usual tough test from his Spanish rival, Federer may well now be eyeing an unbeaten event and, if so, he will be keen to despatch Marin Cilic, his final round-robin opponent in the Boris Becker group, as soon as possible and conserve energy.

Cilic has occasionally played some blinding tennis against Federer, but the Swiss legend leads the Croat 7-1 in career meetings and the favourite is likely to improve his personal series with the world number five.

Add to their history the fact that Cilic, despite reaching the Wimbledon final in July, has had only an average season and Federer has enjoyed an excellent one and there is even more reason to think that the great man should be a shoo-in.

Of course, nothing in life is that simple and the hugely talented Cilic should always be respected, but Federer appears to hold the aces and we could see yet another masterclass from the group leader.

Recommendation
R Federer -3.5 games
1pt 4-5 Betfred


A Zverev v Sock 8pm
It's winner-takes-all in Thursday night's Becker group thriller between Alexander Zverev and Jack Sock and it will be hugely disappointing if the German falls short against his American rival.

Sock won his first Masters Series 1,000 title in Paris earlier this month and after losing to Roger Federer in his London opener he plugged on resiliently and found a way to pip Marin Cilic in his second outing.

Zverev defeated Cilic in his opener before losing to Federer in three sets on the third day of the tournament.

The oddsmakers are giving punters the chance to punt Zverev at a backable price and bettors are advised to take up the offer.

Zverev has shown why he is the best young male player in the world with title triumphs this year in Masters Series 1,000 events in Rome and Canada as well as lesser events in Montpellier, Munich and Washington DC.

With Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic having had campaigns to forget, Zverev has risen to world number three and fully deserves his lofty status.

Recommendation
A Zverev
2pts 4-7 general


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Zverev has shown why he is the best young male player in the world with title triumphs in Rome, Canada, Montpellier, Munich and Washington DC in 2017
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