Federer sets sights on World Tour Finals in London

Following his eighth career Swiss Indoors Basel title on Sunday, Roger Federer withdrew from this week’s Rolex Paris Masters citing a back injury. More thank likely, Federer simply wants some extra rest before the last tournament of the season–the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals in London.

“I’m really sorry I am not participating in the Rolex Paris Masters this year, but my body needs some rest after the Basel tournament.” Federer explained. “I have played a lot of tennis this season and I have to take care of my body if I want to continue playing at the highest level in the years to come. In 2016, it was very painful to miss half of the season; so I learned from it.”

Time off should give the 36-yer-old Swiss a better chance of triumphing at the World Tour Finals. But it also means Rafael Nadal is almost certain to finish the 2017 campaign at No. 1 in the world. Nadal, who is playing in Paris after skipping Basel, is already 1,460 points ahead of Federer in the race.

This is not the first time Federer has bypassed an event in Paris this season. The 19-time Grand Slam champion sat out the entire clay-court swing–including the French Open. Nadal won it for a 10th time, but the clay-court grind predictably sapped the energy of many participants while Federer geared up for grass. His decision paid off handsomely, as Federer rolled to the Wimbledon crown without dropping a single set throughout the entire tournament.

Will something similar be in the cards for London?

The resurrected Federer will head into the World Tour Finals as the betting favorite, sitting at +120 on Betway, and it’s a status most sportsbooks compiled here by MyTopSportsbooks recognize he deserves. He rolled through rival and current world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the final of the Shanghai Masters, serving well and playing with the revised backhand that won him the Australian Open. In the twilight of his career, Federer seems to have finally found a way to beat Nadal–winning five straight over his rival.

Also of note at the World Tour Finals are the ascendant Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem, with the latter defeating Nadal earlier this year in Rome and owning a winning record (2-1) against Federer. But the title will most likely come down to a match between Federer and Nadal while marking the end of an incredible season of competition between the two.

Joining Nadal, Federer, Zverev, and Thiem in the field are London veteran Marin Cilic and first-time qualifier Grigor Dimitrov. The two remaining spots will be determined in Paris, where David Goffin, Pablo Carreno Busta, Sam Querrey, Kevin Anderson, Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Lucas Pouille are in contention.

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