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15 November 2017, 01:11 | Charlene Valdez
Express Newspapers Roger Federer had to wait and stretch while Alexander Zverev finished his serving practice
Federer didn't panic, though, and served his way out of trouble, with Zverev missing an early opportunity to snatch the initiative.
Watch as they tackle some of the most famous phrases to come out of London's East End, with Federer's befuddled response to, "Blimey mate, I'm Hank Marvin" a particular highlight.
The Swiss re-found his focus and some consistency on serve in the decider as Zverev's level dipped, earning three breaks to close it out 6-1. "I think it's right and fair that it's indoors, as well", Federer said.
The 20-year-old German forced a set point in the opener before fading and losing 7-6, 5-7, 6-1 to the world No 2, who remains standing while the other superstars have fallen around him.
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.
Federer looked in control when he broke in the opening game of the second set, having claimed the first via a tiebreak.
The tension returned in the final game of the set, with Zverev facing multiple break points amid distractions from the crowd and celebrating a point he'd thought he'd won only to be overruled by Hawk Eye, but he got the hold nonetheless to force a breaker in the first.
Zverev will now play American Jack Sock for second place in the Boris Becker Group after the American - who revealed the fire alarm that disrupted Nadal and Dominc Thiem at an ungodly hour - upset Marin Cilic 5-7, 6-2, 7-6, thus eliminating the Croatian. "It's been an interesting morning, a fire alarm went off at 4am and we all had to exit our hotel so it was a long morning".
"There's always a lot going on in my game". I'm excited to get the win and stay alive.
Cilic has now won only one of his eight matches overall at the season-ending tournament.
"But I love playing here in London, it's an fantastic atmosphere, you make me feel like home".
The top two players from each group qualify for the semi-finals and after top seed Rafa Nadal pulled out through injury Federer is now a massive odds-on favourite to win the tournament.
Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka are all long-term absentees from the Tour this season.
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