A female commentator has left Roger Federer blushing at the ATP Finals with a question about his shorts.
The Swiss great made sure he will be among the last four at the event on Thursday after outplaying South Africa’s Kevin Anderson to top his group.
Federer once again brushed aside the passing of time with a vintage display, beating Anderson 6-4 6-3 to reach the semi-finals for the 15th time in 16 appearances at the event.
But he faced his biggest challenge of the night in his post-match interview.
Sky Sports pundit Annabel Croft left the tennis legend rather taken aback when she questioned him about his shorts.
Federer was wearing white shorts for the second-straight match after wearing blue ones in his opening encounter against Kei Nishikori.
He suffered a shock loss in the blue, but beat Dominic Thiem and Anderson while wearing the white.
So Croft asked Federer about it.
“Are these your lucky shorts?” she asked, much to the surprise of Federer.
“My lucky shorts?” Federer replied with a big grin, before composing himself.
“No I don’t have anything like that, I’m not superstitious in any way.”
Fans and commentators lapped up the funny moment.
— Carlito (@Carlitostennis) November 15, 2018
Federer: ‘My lucky shorts? I don’t have a thing like that… I don’t have any superstitions any way…’
— George Bellshaw (@BellshawGeorge) November 15, 2018
Annabel Croft asking Federer about lucky shorts. He is perplexed, to put it mildly!
— Ros Satar (@rfsatar) November 15, 2018
Great question from Anabel about the shorts. Federer lost a match in blue, won two in white 😂
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) November 15, 2018
Normal service resumes for Federer
Federer walked out into a jam-packed O2 Arena knowing any repeat of his insipid performance against Nishikori could result in an ignominious early exit.
Displaying the old swagger, however, Federer turned on the style to avenge this year’s shock Wimbledon quarter-final defeat by Anderson in which he squandered a match point.
Federer and Anderson both ended up with two wins in the Lleyton Hewitt group but the record six-time champion grabbed first place on the head-to-head — meaning he is likely to avoid world No.1 Novak Djokovic in Saturday’s last four.
Djokovic will top the other group unless he loses to Marin Cilic and John Isner beats Alexander Zverev.
The tournament has so far lacked thrills but a Sunday showdown between old warriors Federer and Djokovic is still on.
Federer is chasing his 100th career title win.
“These round-robin formats are not straightforward,” Federer said.
“Normally, you lose, you leave. I think it was also difficult for Kevin because he knew he had already qualified.”