Federer routs Thiem to keep chances alive at ATP Finals

Six-time champion Federer was stunned by Kei Nishikori in straight sets in his opening match of the tournament and had to win to avoid a surprise early exit.

The 37-year-old Swiss played poorly in defeat against Kei Nishikori on Sunday and then skipped practice on Monday.

"That's okay. If I don't pass, I don't pass, and I deserve not to pass. Alexander Zverev fumes at major issue after Novak Djokovic loss Novak Djokovic reveals true thoughts of new ATP Cup - full format "Important for me is to play a good last match here in the round-robin, try to beat Kevin".

But in the next three sets he played, Nishikori won just two games as he was pulverised 6-0 6-1 by Kevin Anderson on Tuesday, before Dominic Thiem won Thursday afternoon's opener 6-1.

"It needs to be said that Roger Federer is a player widely regarded as one of the biggest "box office" athletes in the world", Tiley said. "So, from my side, I did a fantastic job throughout really".

And very soon, the Swiss maestro closed out the set, and the match, with yet another break to get his first victory at the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals.

Two tame volley errors by Thiem gave Federer another break for a 5-2 lead as he cruised to the opening set.

Anderson, the Wimbledon finalist, swiftly completed his 47th win of the season, topping his career-high from 2015.

After suggesting that the whole debate has been taken out of context, Federer told reporters there is no obvious pattern in the way the timing of his matches is arranged. I felt that way today.

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.

Anderson won the first 11 games and needed only 64 minutes to demolish the woeful Nishikori in a remarkably one-sided group stage clash at London's O2 Arena.

The 28-year-old leads their head-to-head 3-1 and thumped him 6-3 6-1 in Vienna just a couple of weeks ago. "He has had a wonderful season and played great against me at Wimbledon".

"For me, it was one of the worst days in the year", he said.

With this result, the semi-final scenarios in the Lleyton Hewitt group got a little more complicated as no player has sealed his berth in the last four, nor has anyone been eliminated, with Anderson still being the front-runner.

  • Stacy Allen