After a disappointing start to his 16th ATP Finals, Roger Federer got back on track Tuesday in a comfortable 6-2, 6-3 win over Dominic Thiem.
Thiem had won the last two meetings but today the Swiss was fully in charge in a dominant performance.
“It feels good. I’m very happy that I showed a reaction after the last match against Kei,” said Federer who improves to 16-0 in second matches at the ATP Finals. “No match is easy here. It’s maybe not something I’m that used to lose and come back and play again, but it was a good exercise. It was a great challenge for me and I’m happy with my attitude. I’m happy with how I played, and it was good fun against Dominic.”
The win also keeps Federer’s hopes for a 15th semifinal at the event. The 6-time champion will take on Kevin Anderson on Thursday in a rematch of their epic Wimbledon quarterfinal.
“[What is] important for me is to play a good last match here in the round robin, try to beat Kevin. He has been playing great. He has had a wonderful season. Played great against me as well at Wimbledon,” Federer said. “That’s my focus. I can’t talk about what would come next because it’s a hard match in itself. My first-round match here wasn’t great, so today was better, and I need to keep that up against Kevin, obviously, if I want to have a chance to stay here in London.”
Anderson destroyed Kei Nishikori 6-0, 6-1. The big South African had lost to Nishikori earlier this month in Paris, today was a total flip as Anderson raced out to a 11-0 lead before the Japanese finally got on the board.
“Amongst the best I’ve played,” said Anderson of the match. “I think I did a really good job constantly applying the pressure and not letting up… I kept at it the whole time. I just felt I returned really well, made him hit a lot of shots off his serve.
“He wasn’t getting too many free points and I think as I grew, I was growing in confidence and he probably was going a little the other way which is tough given the situation. I felt I did a fantastic job throughout really. Even though I had a lead, I felt a sense of urgency throughout which I thought was really important because I wanted to get that win as best that I could.”
Nishikori, who beat Federer on Sunday, still hopes to make the weekend. He’ll meet Dominic Thiem on Thursday.
“I don’t even know why I didn’t play well today, missing a lot. I don’t know. I just didn’t feel the ball today. It wasn’t my day today,” said Nishikori. “I hope I can have a good practice tomorrow, a good session of hitting and just try to forget about today.”
On tap Wednesday in the Gustavo Kuerten Group, Novak Djokovic returns to take on Alexander Zverev. Djokovic and the German split their two prior meetings, but this will be there first indoors.
“Playing Zverev, who also had a straight-sets win today, I look forward to that,” Djokovic said. “It should be a great match. I think played against each other only twice. We split wins. I played him recently in Shanghai, but wasn’t at his best. I expect him to play better than he did in Shanghai.”
In the late match, John Isner meets Marin Cilic with both men hoping to stay alive in the event. Cilic leads 7-3 over Isner but is just 1-9 lifetime at the ATP Finals.
WEDNESDAY ATP FINALS LONDON SCHEDULE
Centre Court 12:00 Noon
RR 1 Oliver Marah/Mate Pavic v 5 Mike Bryan/Jack Sock
Not Before 2:00 Pm
RR 1 Novak Djokovic v 3 Alexander Zverev
Not Before 6:00 Pm
RR 3 Lukasz Kubot/Marcelo Melo v 8 Pierre-Hugues Herber/tNicolas Mahut
Not Before 8:00 Pm
RR 5 Marin Cilic v 8 John Isner
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