A day after they lost the doubles clash to Bryan Brothers, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev stepped on the court on Sunday night at the inaugural Hangzhou Tmall Cup International Tennis Invitational Tournament. After an entertaining encounter for both the players and fans in Hangzhou, Roger defeated Alexander 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 to wrap up the year with a victory.
It was the fifth meeting between Federer and Zverev in the last 40 days, embracing South American and Mexican Tour between November 19-24, with Roger scoring wins in Santiago, Mexico City and Quito while Zverev prevailed in Buenos Aires.
Instead of the Hopman Cup in Perth where he was usually spending the closing days of the old year, Roger has signed a deal to compete in Hangzhou until 2023, giving his Chinese fans a chance to watch him even if he retires in the next couple of seasons.
After the match, Roger and Alexander took part in the charity auction, for the best possible closure of their Chinese trip. Both Federer and Zverev have finished in the top-10 together for the third straight year despite many ups and downs for the young German who had barely qualified for the ATP Finals.
At the age of 38, Roger was still among the best players in the world, finishing in the top-3 three behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic after claiming four ATP titles. In Dubai, the Swiss claimed the 100th ATP title, conquering Miami soon after that for his 28th Masters 1000 crown.
Roger was the semi-finalist at Roland Garros and the finalist at Wimbledon, squandering two match points against Novak Djokovic in could have made his season stellar one. Before Wimbledon, Federer grabbed the tenth title in Halle and went all the way at another favorite event at home in Basel in October, standing on 103 ATP crowns ahead of 2020 and hoping to reduce the gap to Connors even more.
Alexander Zverev will lead Germany at the ATP Cup next week while Federer has more time to shape up his game on the practice court before making a return at the Australian Open.