Federer Back In Business In London

Roger Federer

LONDON, November 13, 2018

Roger Federer keeps his hopes alive to reach the stage of the final four at the Nitto ATP Finals. The No. 2 seed from Switzerland defeated Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-2, 6-3 on Tuesday evening to earn his first win in Group Lleyton Hewitt.

Federer was in control of the encounter, didn’t face a break point, converting four of his own chances to prevail after one hour and six minutes.

“Important was not about my forehand or my backhand or my serve or anything. I guess it was my head. For that sometimes you need a break,” said Federer, who lost his opening match against Kei Nishikori.

“I’ve been playing a lot of tennis the last two months. We came to the conclusions, or the coaches thought, ‘Take it easy, enjoy the day with your family, and come out happy on I don’t even know what day of the week it is today.’

“Again, when you play Thiem, that’s what we care about, the head, not the shots. The shots are there. I felt that way today. So I’m very happy that that was the right decision and I was able to show a reaction from my first-round match.”

Anderson dismisses Nishikori

Earlier in the day, Kevin Anderson powered past Kei Nishikori 6-0, 6-1 to improve to 2-0 in Group Lleyton Hewitt.  The 32-year-old from South Africa landed 10 aces and won 82 per cent of first-serve points to seal victory in 64 minutes.

“[The match was] amongst the best I’ve played,” said Anderson. “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.”

After his great win over Federer on Sunday, Nishikori said: “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.

“I hope I can have a good practice tomorrow, a good session of hitting and just try to forget about today and just looking forward to playing next one.”

Murray/Soares qualify for semis

Jamie Murray of Great Britain and Brazilian Bruno Soares became the first doubles team to qualify for the semi-finals at the season finale. The fourth seeds defeated second-seeded Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah for the third time in four meetings this year, 6-4, 6-3 in 73 minutes to move to 2-0 in Group Llodra/Santoro play.

“We’re really happy to win,” said Murray. “Really happy to get through to the semi-finals with a match still to go. I think we played a really good match again tonight. It was always going to be difficult against those guys because they always compete so well. Previously, when we played them, we’ve always felt like we’ve played well against them, but kind of struggled to close out the matches. Today we did a good job of that. We hd a couple of setbacks in the match, but we fought back hard each time and didn’t let it affect us too much.

“We’ll be trying to win [our next match]. I think important to kind of maintain the level of performance that we’ve had the first couple matches. I think winning keeps the confidence going.”

Raven Klaasen from South Africa and Michael Venus of New Zealand recorded their first victory in the round robin stage. The duo improved to 1-1 after the sixth seeds defeated seventh favourites Nikola Mektic of Croatia and Austria’s Alexander Peya 7-6(5), 7-6(5) in one hour and 43 minutes