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Roger Federer GETTYRoger Federer's rivalry with Rafael Nadal has dominated his career
Kristopher Love | 15 November, 2017, 01:11

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.

The world number two saw off a spirited challenge from the much-hyped German 7-6 (8/6), 5-7, 6-1 in front of a boisterous pro-Federer crowd to become the first man through to the last four at the O2 Arena.

Federer and Zverev meet later on Tuesday. I think it's right and fair that it's indoors, as well.

After those two games, the match zipped along at a rate of knots with barely 35 minutes having passed before Zverev was serving to try to force a tie-break. "I think it's right and fair that it's indoors, as well", Federer said.

In doing so, the belief rushed back through the world No. 3 and he set up three set point chances on Federer's serve at 5-6 - converting the third.

Twice he had to save break and therefore set points in that 12th game, but Federer's unforced error count was unusually high, affording Zverev the freedom to swing for the fences.

"I'm just excited to win and keep myself alive".

The pair got off to winning starts in Group Boris Becker, with Zverev surviving a tense battle against Cilic and Federer enjoying a straight sets win over Jack Sock.

Zverev has been touted as the leader of a pack of young players hungry to oust the creaking old guard but Federer, who has suffered only four defeats all year, shows no sign of slipping.

Zverev was keen to test the Swiss' backhand as often as possible, regularly attempting to engage cross-court rallies to pressure the 36-year-old's weaker wing, but Federer seemed in control of his own service games.

"It's been an interesting morning so far", said the American.

"I went outside, saw Rafa, saw Dominic, everyone was all bundled up, freezing cold, just wanting to get back inside. It's an wonderful atmosphere, you make me feel like home". As the world's most formidable player on clay, Nadal has in the past suggested it would be better if the season-ending Tour Finals at least occasionally took place on his preferred surface.

The top two players from each of the two groups of four progress to the semi-finals.

Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka are all long-term absentees from the Tour this season.