Roger Federer stayed on course for a record 100th ATP title as he entered the semi-final of the year-ending ATP Finals in London with a convincing 6-4,6-3 win over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson.
The victory by Federer was sweet revenge for his loss earlier in the year against the South African in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon 2018. The Swiss maestro was leading by two sets when Anderson produced a stunning fightback to win the next two sets 7-5 and 6-4. In the fifth and final set, both players fought brilliantly but Anderson clinched the match with an epic 13-11 win.
However, the win comes amidst backdrops of players complaining about the lengthy schedule of the tennis season. Alexander Zverev, for one, has described it as “ridiculous”. However, Federer has said that the decision to skip a tournament lies with the player and the backroom staff.
“The good thing is we as players are not employed by a club. I can walk right now out of the door and go onto vacation if I want to. Nobody is going to stop me. They won’t like it, but I can. That’s a massive privilege, I believe, that a tennis player has,” Federer said after the end of the match.
The likes of Federer and Novak Djokovic, who has resurrected his career following wins in Wimbledon and US Open, have recently backed a new men's team competition called the ATP Cup. A revamped Davis Cup tournament will take place from November 2019, bringing together 18 nations in one place for a week at the end of the season. The Davis Cup is run by the ITF, the governing body of world tennis, while the ATP, which runs the men's Tour, will stage the ATP Cup.
Federer was upbeat about the event. “Clearly if the World Team Cup is going to be held, players will want to play that first week of the year, so you would think it's going to be exciting. The Davis Cup has incredibly rich history. You would think the players are going to play that. From that standpoint, I think there's not that much change, per se, or more tournaments on the calendar. It just happens that there's more team events, which I think the players are happy about,” Federer said.
The Swiss player, who has won 20 Grand Slam titles, could potentially face Novak Djokovic in the last four.