The ATP Finals in London will begin tomorrow, where Roger Federer is lined up against Jack Sock and Marin Cilic will be pitted against Alexander Zverev. This round-robin group has the real heavyweights of the indoor fast court, and each match is expected to be watch-worthy.
Roger Federer versus Jack Sock
Jack Sock is coming off his first Masters 1000 win in Paris and has the confidence and wind behind his sails to stretch Roger Federer to a third set if not beat him. With his powerful serve and the hammer forehand, anything is possible for Jack Sock when he is on his game. However, no one, including Rafael Nadal, has been as effective as Roger Federer at diffusing power this year and we expect Roger Federer to win this clash.
Outcome: Roger Federer over Jack Sock in three sets.
Marin Cilic versus Alexander Zverev
The battle between Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev holds a little more intrigue, but would have been an easy one to guess had Zverev not been going through a mini-slump since the US Open. Marin has won seven, and Zverev six of his last ten on hard courts this fall. Marin Cilic has been building steady momentum and may peak at this event. However, Alexander Zverev leads Maric Cilic 3-1 and Marin has not beaten Zverev since the summer of 2015.
The US versus Belarus in the Fed Cup Final in Minsk
The Fed Cup Final begins in Minsk soon and, from the looks of it, the US has pitted a formidable lineup against Belarus’ promising yet not so established players.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich could win the Fed Cup without losing a match in 2017
Will Aliaksandra Sasnovich become the only player since Petra Kvitova in 2011 to be unbeaten in the Fed Cup rubbers? She beat both Timea Bacsinzky and Viktorija Golubic in the semifinals against Switzerland, and Michaella Krajicek and Kiki Bertens in the quarterfinals against the Netherlands. The 23 years old Sasnovich is ranked 87 in the WTA, and will probably rely on her confidence gained from beating all her Fed Cup Opponents this year.
CoCo Vandeweghe too could win the Fed Cup without losing a match in 2017
However, Aliaksandra opens against CoCo Vandeweghe who has had her best year on the WTA tour so far. CoCo is ranked top 10 currently and recently reached the finals of the WTA Championship in Zhuhai, China. She too has not lost a single Fed Cup rubber this year. Vandeweghe beat Marketa Vondrousova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic in the semifinals, and Julia Goerges and Andrea Petkovic of Germany in the quarterfinals of the Fed Cup. Only one of them will emerge with the continued prospects of winning the Fed Cup without losing a match in 2017.
Aryna Sabalenka is on the rise, but Sloane Stephens won the US Open
At 78 in the WTA, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus is ranked even higher than Sasnovich. However, her Fed Cup performance has not been as stellar as her compatriot’s, and she has lost two of her Fed Cup matches in 2017. Aryna Sabalenka will play the 2017 US Open Champion Sloane Stephens in the second singles rubber on Saturday. Aryna Sabalenka reached her first tour-level finals in Tianjin this year and will surely be a tough contender here. Sloane has not played the Fed Cup in 2017, and this Saturday will be her first appearance in it. Moreover, Sloane’s performance has not been good since her US Open win in September. She lost to Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia and then retired against Barbora Strycova of Czechoslovakia at the WTA Championship in China. She had also lost her first match at the Beijing Open to the 71st ranked Christina Mchale of the USA.
It may come down to the doubles, but the US should win the Fed Cup Finals
The return rubbers on Sunday will be between Sasnovich and Stephens, and Sabalenka and Vandeweghe. Even though the Americans are ranked much higher than the Belarusians, we still expect it to be a tightly contested battle and the eventual winner could well be decided by the outcome of the doubles match between Vera Lapko and Lidziya Marozawa of Belarus versus Alison Riske and Shelby Rogers of the USA. However, at the end of it all, we expect the USA to bring home the Fed Cup trophy for the first time since 2000.
Outcome: The US win the Fed Cup Trophy