Published: Sun, November 18, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Federer Revives ATP Finals Hopes With Win Over Thiem

Federer Revives ATP Finals Hopes With Win Over Thiem

Following a straight-sets upset over six-time champion Roger Federer in his opening match, Kei Nishikori came crashing back to earth with a 6-0, 6-1 loss to South Africa's Kevin Anderson at the ATP Finals on Tuesday.

Federer found himself with his back to the wall after an error-strewn loss to Nishikori in his opening round-robin match - his first straight sets defeat in 46 group stage matches at the season-ending showpiece.

Two days after a surprising 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 loss Sunday to Japan's Kei Nishikori in his first match in Group Lleyton Hewitt, the third-ranked Federer on Tuesday came out on court at the O2 Arena eager to get back on track and quickly asserted his superiority, reports Efe.

Federer grabbed a break in the third game against a nervous-looking Thiem and a second for 5-2 on his way to taking the first set.

The big South African never really took his foot off the pedal and Nishikori's game simply crumbled as Anderson cruised past the Japanese, losing just 1 game the whole match.

"I am happy I am having a chance to play him again and I hope to get my revenge", he commented after beating Thiem.

The 37-year-old brushed off the controversy stirred up by Julien Benneteau in an interview with France's RMC Sport. Sometimes I get asked, 'do you want to play day or night?

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The 32-year-old won the first 11 games against Nishikori before his relieved opponent finally got on the scoreboard with an angled victor.

It only delayed the inevitable, though, as Anderson duly served out for a 6-0 6-1 victory in 63 hopelessly one-sided minutes.

To start the second set, Federer played a couple of penetrating rallies, with the single hander working in full flow, and with a little help from Thiem's forehand, got the break immediately. He also rarely made any impression with his signature weapon - the one-handed backhand.

"I felt fresh, but I just didn't feel the ball this week", said Nishikori.

"Amongst the best (matches) I've played", Anderson, who lost just eight points on serve, said.

Anderson is in pole position, but qualification for the semi-finals is still possible for all four players.

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