10 Things to Know at the ATP Finals: Saturday

LONDON, UK - It’s Semifinal Saturday at the Nitto ATP Finals, as Roger Federer plays David Goffin and Grigor Dimitrov plays Jack Sock to reach the final of the prestigious year-end tournament.

We’re down to four at the Nitto ATP Finals - here are 10 Things To Know about the semifinals:

1. This is the first time in nine years that we’ve got three first-time semifinalists here. Dimitrov, Sock and Goffin aren’t just first-time qualifiers this year, they’re first-time semifinalists - the first time we’ve had three first-time semifinalists since Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Gilles Simon in 2008.

2. Dimitrov, Sock and Goffin are all going for a big first. No player born in the ‘90s has ever reached the final of the ATP Finals - Dimitrov, Sock and Goffin are trying to break that barrier, and with Dimitrov playing Sock, we’re guaranteed at least one ‘90s baby in the final here for the first time.

3. Federer dominates Goffin in their head-to-head. Federer isn’t just 6-0 against Goffin, he’s also 14-2 in sets - and he’s won their last eight sets in a row. Even more daunting? Their last encounter came just a few weeks ago in the semifinals of Basel and Federer cruised in 60 minutes, 6-1 6-2:

4. Federer’s pretty unbeatable in semifinals here. This is his 14th career semifinal at the ATP Finals and he’s 10-3 in his previous 13 semifinals here, the only three players who’ve been able to stop him being Lleyton Hewitt in 2002, Nikolay Davydenko in 2009 and Rafael Nadal in 2013.

5. If Federer wins today, he’ll pass $15,000,000 in career prize money at this event alone. Only 23 other players in ATP World Tour history have won more than $15,000,000 in their entire career.

6. Goffin has beaten Top 2 players before. Two of them to be exact - a No.2-ranked Djokovic in the Monte Carlo quarterfinals this year, and the No.1-ranked Nadal in the round robin earlier this week.

Here are highlights from the Belgian’s win over Nadal on Monday - the biggest win of his career:

7. Sock is the first American to go this far at the ATP Finals in a decade. The last time an American made the semifinals of the ATP Finals was Andy Roddick in 2007 (falling to David Ferrer). The last time an American made the final here was James Blake in 2006 (falling to Federer).

8. Dimitrov keeps piling up the firsts for Bulgaria. He was already the first Bulgarian to qualify for the ATP Finals in the 48-year history of the tournament, and now he’s the first to reach the semifinals. He was also the first Bulgarian man to reach the Top 10 and win a Masters 1000 title (Cincinnati).

9. Sock has beaten Dimitrov the last three times they’ve played. Dimitrov won their first meeting at Stockholm in 2014 - which to his benefit is their only career meeting on indoor hardcourts - but Sock has won their last three, at the French Open and Canada in 2015 and at Indian Wells this year.

Here are highlights from that meeting at Indian Wells, where Sock saved four match points to win:

10. You can watch the semifinals live right here on Tennis Channel (check the listings here!)

Read more articles by John Berkok

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