Federer Goes Down To Nishikori In First Straight Set Round-Robin Loss At ATP Finals; Djokovic Monday
by Staff | November 11th, 2018, 11:28 pm

Six-time champion Roger Federer dropped his opening match of the ATP Finals round-robin event on Sunday, losing to Kei Nishikori 7-6(4), 6-3.

“I’m glad to win, it is never easy to play with my idol, it is always a big challenge against him, so it was great to win,” said Nishikori.

Federer, who had won his last six against the Asian star, was far from his best in an error-filled outing. He had a chance late in the first with Nishikori serving 5-6, 15-30, but the Japanese was able to respond to a Federer smash return with his own winner. A frustrated Federer was then issued a code violation from the umpire for hitting the ball into the crowd.

“I felt we both struggled throughout the first set,” said Federer who added he felt the nerves and noted the court was playing slow. “I had my chances maybe a bit more than he did. Then I started to feel better in the second set. I think we both did. The level went up. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep the lead that I got early. That was important, I think, at the end. That was the key of the match, that sort of – I guess – 10-minute swing at the end of the first throughout maybe 1-1 in the second.”

The loss was Federer’s fourth in his ATP Finals opener, and twice before he’s made the semifinals after dropping his first match, and his first loss in straight sets in the round robin stage at the event.

And Federer also loses a shot to finish ranked No. 2, a spot that Rafael Nadal has now clinched.

On Tuesday, Federer will return to face Dominic Thiem while Nishikori collides with Kevin Anderson.

Earlier in the day, Anderson made the very most of his debut at the event and in the indoor conditions beating Thiem 6-3, 7-6(10), avenging a loss to the Austrian at the US Open.

“I think it was important, going out there and getting off to a good start,” said Anderson. “I definitely felt a little bit nervous. But I was able to settle very quickly and find a really good rhythm, taking care of my service games nicely [and I] created quite a few opportunities on his serve.

“He wasn’t serving at a very high first-serve percentage. I felt I was getting into quite a few points. The second set could have been anybody’s set. He started serving well. I was taking care of my service games. When it’s 12/10 in the tie-break, it really could have gone either way.”

Tomorrow, tournament favorite and year-end No. 1 Novak Djokovic opens his campaign against debutant John Isner. Djokovic leads the American 8-2.

“I’m up against it for sure. Novak has won this event five times. He’s the player to beat this week for sure,” Isner said. “It’s a good spot for me, because I don’t have much to lose. I’m definitely the underdog.”

Also, Alexander Zverev meets Marin Cilic. Zverev is up in that series 5-1.

Centre Court 12:00 Noon
1 Oliver Marach/Mate Pavic v 8 Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut
Not Before 2:00 Pm
3 Alexander Zverev v 5 Marin Cilic
Not Before 6:00 Pm
3 Lukasz Kubot/Marcelo Melo v 5 Mike Bryan/Jack Sock
Not Before 8:00 Pm
1 Novak Djokovic v 8 John Isner

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25 Comments for Federer Goes Down To Nishikori In First Straight Set Round-Robin Loss At ATP Finals; Djokovic Monday

SG1 Says:

Nice win for Anderson on a slow court. He’s really becoming a consistent threat.

Margot Says:

SG1: Commies saying court is fast.

chris ford1 Says:

Fast, slow…Isner served well and still had his 1st serve winning percent go from season ave of 81.4% down to 64%. Djokovic was dialed in.

The ATP news said Isner entered the match leading the ATP World Tour margin by a wide margin in service games won category this year, holding serve 94.2 per cent of the time.

“He is No.1 and No.2 and No.3,” said Isner when asked where Djokovic ranks amongst returners he has played. “He’s the best returner I’ve ever faced for sure. I’ve said that before, too….”

Next up on their side, Novak gets Sasha and it will be Isner-Cilic.

Humble Rafa Says:

I think His Highness is fighting some type of injury with the arm. That is in additional to the mental injury caused by recent losses to midgets. Apparently, he also canceled practice. So folks, set your expectation in order.

This was a public service announcement.

Daniel Says:

I heard Djoko has one of those amazing return days nothing even the biggest server could do.

Great start for a record tying title #6. Only match that didn’t festire a tiebreka so far, and that against Isner.

Margot Says:

One of the banners at the O2 bore the legend: Invest in Novak’s balls, they have the best returns.
Indeedy, his ROS was amazing. Looking fully recovered and mighty fine.

Van Persie Says:

Lol Margot, regarding the mentioned banner :)

Was very pleased to watch Nole- Big John match yesterday. Big John’s forehand was very impressive one and Nole’s ROS, speed, serve reminded me of 2015’s Djoko. A very enjoyable match.
Looking forward to Nole- Sascha; will be the duel of the best 2BH’s in business for the moment, perhaps.

Van Persie Says:

Am only sorry, I missed the Marin- Cilic match. Did hear, it was good

Van Persie Says:

^^the Marin_ Sascha match :)

Wog Boy Says:

Thanks for the reply on the other thread.

Van Persie Says:


My pleasure, I did not reply asap due to our different time zones

J-Kath Says:

Gosh Margot (and ditto VP): Have they got the wrong player? What about the Fed.?

Van Persie Says:

Than you for sharing it, WB. It is really good. Nole is a master of ROS

Have to admit, until middle of 2016, when Djokos hiatus started, I was not as appreciative for the weapons he possess as I am now. Until his decline, I always took for granted the ROS, the 2 BH, the sliding, the footwork. Since he is good at it again (due to a healthy mind and body), I value each of his good matches as a master work. Hope he will keep it up like this for 1 year or 2 :) It is not easy, for sure

Wog Boy Says:

“(due to a healthy mind and body)”

You said it all VP, thank you Vajda, thank you Gritsch and respect for you Nole for picking up a phone and calling them when you hit the rock bottom, after you sacked them all, I believe it wasn’t easy to do so.

skeezer Says:

Is Kei tanking or Anderson that good?

Giles Says:

Kei tanking.

Humble Rafa Says:

If you have a door mat, you should name it Timmy Boy. If you don’t have a door mat, you should get a door mat and name it Timmy Boy because who doesn’t love to step on Timmy Boy.

chofer Says:

Anyone who still insists Domi is a contender on hardcourts might check the eye doctor again. Geez, it’s like his shot-mechanics can’t help but accepting only a wide eartern grip!! Evrytime he tries a continental to volley or block Federer’s serve, he puts the ball into the net. It’s not whether he STEPS closer to the baseline or not. It’s his grip that fully falters.

Still, he can win the French Open if Nadal or Djokovic areinjured or they retire. Burt I have a feeling Tsitsipas can get there first. That’s an allcourter. Zverev, too. But I find his game a little mechanical. Like, when he has to improvise his chip burst into flames:))

chofer Says:

Domi has not very quick hands (to change grips). Full period.

RZ Says:

@chofer – I don’t think anyone (not even those of us on Team Thiem) insists that Thiem is a threat on hardcourts. Indoor is definitely Thiem’s worst surface. I rated his chances at the WTF as the worst of all 8 guys.

chofer Says:


Don’t think I’m happy for that. It’s frustrating to see!!

chofer Says:

I think Boris Becker could help him a lot with those problems. He still has time.

chofer Says:

Funny that Kyrgios suffers the opposite problem. Extremely quick hands, very slow brain. His arms move independently from his brain. I think he should be studied like a hamster.

chofer Says:

When all is said and done with the trio Fed-Rafa-Nole we should focus on how all of them are very good at improvising: backside drop-shots, razor-volleys, etc. Rafa and Nole don’t get enough credit for the “intangibles” like Federer. That’s wrong. A good thinker has to improvise at some point and they’re all VERY GOOD thinkers.

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