Federer stays in it at ATP Finals

Arnold Nichols
November 18, 2018

ROGER FEDERER kept alive his hopes of success at the ATP Finals with a fine straight-sets win over Dominic Thiem in London last night.

Federer was more concerned with the way he rediscovered his form to convincingly beat Thiem, admitting his head had not been right in a straight sets defeat by Nishikori.

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

But Federer, who stayed on course for the knockout stage and will play South Africa's Kevin Anderson today, refuted suggestions that he gets special scheduling favours from tournament chiefs.

A big key for the Swiss was his play on serve, as he did not face a single break point during the one-hour, seven-minute match and won 86 percent of his first-serve points and 81 percent of his second-serve points.

Yet 48 hours later, the 37-year-old Federer rebounded in style, to the delight of the crowd packed into The O2 arena.


"I just went into the match and wanted to show my real self again, basically, because two days ago (against Federer) was really bad", said the French Open runner-up.

Federer, who is chasing a 100th ATP Tour title, started to play more relaxed and seemed content with simply keeping the ball in play and waiting for mistakes. Sometimes I get asked, 'do you want to play day or night?

Anderson was brimming with confidence, being nearly untouchable on serve and made some powerful returns followed by loads of pulsating groundstroke to steamroll the Japanese No. 1, serving him a nice bagel and taking the opening set 6-0. 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.

Federer snagged his first service break in the third game of the match and never looked back.

Anderson said: 'It's one of the best matches I've ever played.

"I could win and still not make it, so from that standpoint it's not in my power", Federer said of his clash with Anderson who he lost to in an epic Wimbledon quarter-final this year. "I did a really good job constantly applying the pressure and not letting up".

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