Federer Opens Play Sunday At ATP Finals; Anderson v Thiem

by Staff | November 10th, 2018, 10:15 pm

Six-time champion Roger Federer opens play Sunday at the ATP Finals in London against Kei Nishikori. The Swiss, who no longer can finish No. 1 at the event, has owned the Japanese star winning the last six and seven of nine overall.

And he’s won both meetings with Nishikori at the ATP Finals, in 2014 and in three sets in 2015. It’s also their third clash in the last month.

“When I played him in Paris, I knew he was fighting to play in the ATP Finals, but we didn’t know what was happening with Nadal and Del Potro yet,” Federer said. “But I figured that there was a chance he’d make it and there was a chance we’d play in the group. That’s exactly what happened.

“And that’s why I tried really hard in Paris to get another win against him, to help me with confidence. I’ve always said that I like his style of play and he has one of the best backhands in the game. I’ve had some exciting matches against him. Our match in Shanghai was great. But I’m really happy for him, having made it here after being injured and a rocky start to the season.”

Nishikori, a 2-time semifinalist in London, qualified for the event after Juan Martin del Potro withdrew. Remarkably, he began his 2018 season playing Challenger events in Newport Beach and Dallas.

“It’s amazing how Roger is still playing well,” said Nishikori. “He’s one of the toughest opponents on the tour. While he’s not playing as much as he used to, it’s amazing how he’s so physically fit. For me, I lost to him in Shanghai and Paris recently, so I have to make adjustments on Sunday. But I always enjoy playing him and it’s a big challenge. I have to play 100 percent.”

Federer is playing his 16th Finals event, he’s made it out of the round-robin in 14 of them, only losing in the before the semifinals just once in 2008.

Also in the Lleyton Hewitt group, in the early undercard, Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson takes on French runner-up Dominic Thiem.

The big South African had won the first six with Thiem until the Austrian won in Madrid and at the US Open this year.

“I’ve learned a lot from the two previous visits here,” said Thiem. “It’s probably the best event of the entire year. There are so many new experiences for me here. This year should be different. I’ve played my best Masters 1000 hard-court event in Paris just last week and I’m feeling fresh. From the first match, I will only face Top 10 stars, so anything can happen. Against Kevin and Kei, I’ve had matches this year, which went both ways. And against Roger, I still have a positive head-to-head, so I will fight for my life to keep that one.”

Anderson is making ATP Finals debut while for Thiem it’s his third appearance (third straight year) but is just 2-4.

“I need to focus on what I have to do on the court,” said Anderson. “Every player is a tough opponent. If I can keep doing what I’m doing, I will be playing the best tennis I can. When I do that, I know I can beat anybody. I have to really compete and I know there are no easy matches. I’m looking forward to starting things off.”

In his last trip to London, Anderson reached the finals at Wimbledon. He has five career titles, two indoors including last month in Vienna.

Centre Court 12:00 Noon
RR (4) Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares v (6) Raven Klaasen/Michael Venus

Not Before 2:00 Pm
RR (4) Kevin Anderson v (6) Dominic Thiem

Not Before 6:00 Pm
RR (2) Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah v (7) Nikola Mektic/Alexander Peya

Not Before 8:00 Pm
RR (2) Roger Federer v (7) Kei Nishikori

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23 Comments for Federer Opens Play Sunday At ATP Finals; Anderson v Thiem

Van Persie Says:

Olderer hates TBs lately.

Van Persie Says:

Expected a better match here, Thiem- Kando was pretty good.

Van Persie Says:

Awfull match, they both deserve to lose

Wog Boy Says:

VP, Was it really that bad?
It’s quite possible that neither of favourites makes final, or to be more precise, even pass group stage, particularly Nole. Any of three tallers can beat Nole on this indoor surface conditions.

chris ford1 Says:

The glorious life – “Alternates, on hand in case of last-minute withdrawals, are paid $110,000 for their time. Karen Khachanov and Borna Coric are the standbys for 2018.”

I think they also get free new tailored suits from Saville Row, just like the 8 selected, lots of free food, a massive opportunity to schmooze sponsors and hang with celebs, chance to see what it is all about. Sweet deal, and great opportunity!! Quite soon after thumping Djokovic’s butt, and making it to #11 with is Masters title, I think Karen will get a call from Djokovic’s coach or Novak himself. About practice time throwing some serving heat at Novak as part of his tune ups for Cilic, Isner and past the RR, possibly Anderson.

THe ATP Championships pay an undefeated Champ(2.7 million) better than the French Open pays it’s winner (2.38) and close to what Wimbledon and the AO pay out in prize money to the winner.

Surprised Fed lost to Nishikori. Fed must have been flat.

chris ford1 Says:

New blood has arrived or is waiting in the wings. But in with the new, means out with the old.
ATP Championships fixtures like David Ferrer, Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Jo Tsonga – gone from London for a few years now and not likely to return. Liked them all. But aging spares no one, not even Federer. The end of the exceptionally gifted and consistent
“Big 4” as one member goes off, then another, is well neigh in sight.

J-Kath Says:

Fed. was not a happy bunny…in fact he was clearly grumpy. First set not too bad …but oh dear what a mess he made of the tie-break…especially his serve which is usually reliable.

Didn’t see the other match but Thiem lost.

Madmax Says:

Disappointing match. VP.

ormer British number one Tim Henman on BBC TV

The way Federer has played throughout his whole career, he has made it look ridiculously easy. Tonight has not been easy and it’s a shock for people to see.

I said before the match, for Nishikori to win, Federer had to play way below par and that’s what happened.

Federer never found his rhythm from the back of the court. Nishikori is not a great server, but Federer didn’t make a break point in the first set.

Time and time again we saw errors from the back of the court and not getting his feet into the right areas.

Definitely off parr with the serve.

Tennisfansince1976 Says:

@madmax unfortunately we’ve seen a lot of that this year after Rotterdam.

Daniel Says:

Couldn’t saw the matches but surprised Kei won. He actually is playing better these last few months. But with the ay Fed fought in Basel and Paris semis against Novak thought he will keep it up. Still possible to qualify, specially as Kei can lose his other 2 matches. Very unpredictable group now.

Daniel Says:

Best scenario for Fed is him beating Thiem and Kei beating Anderson next round. This way Kei qualifies, Thiem out and he will play Anderson for the other spot. This way he keeps it within his racquet.
If Anderson beats Kei and Fed beats Thiem, all still got a chance in last round. Anderson could go 3-0 and the other 3 all 1-2, having to rely on sets / games won ratio.

Humble Rafa Says:

High Highness was given a violation for ball abuse. The concerned balls have been sent to rehab center for rehabilitation.

Van Persie Says:


yep, it was really bad. Nishikori did not have to do much in order to win this, ok, let’s say the 2nd set was a bit better, due to Kei.
But the 1 set was miserable: many UEs and poor serving from both.
After yesterdays’s matches I could tell: Dom and Kando are faves from this group, for now.

Agree with you, Nole has a tough one and would not be a huge surprise, if he did not made it to semis.

Giles Says:

WTF is exactly that – WTF!

Margot Says:

Is Fedexpress shut in a darkened room, sobbing? We demand to know.

J-Kath Says:

Margot: Given the use of the Royal “We”, I hasten to respond: “Nish, Nish”. He’s got his own balls and is full of vigour and resolve.

Margot Says:

Madmax: Did you know, Fed is on ITV tonight at 9pm, hiking in the Swiss Alps with Bear Grylls.

skeezer Says:

Didn’t see the match but not surprised Kei could beat an old man. Fed is going to eventually have more bad days unfortunately. All good. The couple of years have been a cherry on top of the tallest sundae ever. Totally unexpected but fantabulous!

RZ Says:

Margot – that episode aired in the U.S. a few months ago. All I could think while watching the episode was “why would Fed put himself at risk for injury during his career?”

RZ Says:

Daniel – unless Fed is flat, I can’t see him losing to Thiem on an indoor court. As much as I love my boy Dom, he’s the weakest of all 8 players on an indoor court. Anderson’s matches against Nishikori and Fed may be what decide this group.

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