Roger Federer rebounds to keep ATP Finals hopes alive

by Leon Thompson November 18, 2018, 2:16
Roger Federer rebounds to keep ATP Finals hopes alive

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.

The Japanese world number nine looked poised to end the season on a high after taking the scalp of six-time victor Federer in their opening round-robin match at London's 02 Arena. 'I'm very happy. I showed a reaction after the last match against Kei.

Federer, who has only failed to reach the semi-finals in the event once in 15 appearances, will still need to beat group leader Kevin Anderson in straight sets on Thursday to be absolutely sure of making it to the weekend.

Narrowly avoiding just the second 6-0, 6-0 scoreline in tournament history, the 28-year-old Nishikori fell to his third loss in four meetings this year against the 32-year-old Anderson, ranked No. 6.

"I was not feeling good to play such a match in front of such a big crowd and everything".

"It feels good (today)". I don't know. But, yeah, I just didn't play well this week.

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"I'll do the same tomorrow because it worked", Federer said of deciding not to practice on Monday. "I love playing in London, always have, always will".

Federer turned the screws to break again immediately in the second set and never looked in any danger.

Thiem, who also was broken in the seventh game of the first set and the first and last games of the second set, won a respectable 50 percent of his second-serve points but just 56 percent of his first-serve points. But he did lose 6-0, 6-1 and said: 'It was one of the worst days in the year'. Thiem did let rip with some stunning backhands but with the world number three back in the groove they made little impression as the Swiss sealed the 56th match win at the tournament he has qualified for a record 16 times.

He produced a near-perfect display against Nishikori who he lost to two weeks ago in Paris. "I could win and still not make it, so from that standpoint it's not in my power", Federer said.

"I felt I did a fantastic job throughout really".

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