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Federer outlasts Cilic; Sock advances

Roger Federer will head into the semifinals of the ATP Finals with confidence after outlasting fifth-seeded Marin Cilic in three sets on Thursday in London.

The 36-year-old Swiss finished Group Boris Becker play with a perfect 3-0 mark after his 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1 victory over the Croatian.
“I played very well, so really happy to be playing at this level right now,” said the second-ranked Federer, who has won 13 matches in a row. He is bidding for his seventh ATP Finals title and eighth championship of the season.
Jack Sock also reached the semifinals out of Group Boris Becker by posting a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 victory over Alexander Zverev. Sock is the first American to make the semis since Andy Roddick in 2007.
Sock will face Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday. Dimitrov was the winner of Group Pete Sampras.
Federer, who has reached the final four in 14 of his 15 ATP Finals appearances, will play Belgian David Goffin or Austrian Dominic Thiem on Saturday. The latter two will vie for second place in the Group Pete Sampras on Friday.
Cilic snapped a six-set losing streak to Federer by smashing a cross-court winner to claim the first-set tiebreak. He held tough in the second set before Federer broke his serve, with the latter doing the same in the second and sixth games of the third set to advance.
“I think overall with my game I was quite satisfied, played good tennis. Just in the third set I felt like I dropped a little bit with my serving percentage,” the 29-year-old Cilic said. “Once Roger got the break, he was playing little bit looser, obviously played well.”
The eighth-seeded Sock was on his game while stunning Zverev, the third-seeded German, for the second Top 5 victory of his career. He was just as thrilled to end the American drought in the year-end tourney.
“I’m playing with house money,” Sock said after his victory. I’m going out there and letting loose, having fun, trying to put on a show a little bit, just enjoy my time.”
Meanwhile, the 20-year-old Zverev was greatly disappointed. He dominated the second set before struggling in the final one.
“I choked. It’s quite easy,” Zverev said. “Won the second set 6-1. I was 1-0 with a break. He got a point penalty. I was down 1-4 within 10 minutes where I didn’t put many balls in the court. So, yeah, I just choked.