Roger Federer cruises past Anderson to reach last-4 of ATP Finals

Hope Soto
November 18, 2018

The six-time champion started the week with an uncharacteristically ragged display in a straight-sets defeat to Kei Nishikori but has beaten Dominic Thiem and Anderson in straight sets and is looking more like his old self as the tournament progresses.

South African Anderson had already won two matches to reach the semi-finals.

In a dramatic first set there was still time for Federer to nearly let Anderson back in, falling to 0-40 at 5-4, but the 20-time Grand Slam champion showed his mettle to save all three break points and close out the set, confirming his place in the semifinals.

Despite an improvement from Nishikori at the beginning of the second, Thiem proved too strong for the Japanese world No. 9, coming through 6-1, 6-4 and confirming Nishikori's exit from the season-ending tournament.

Winning the first set of his final round-robin match against Kevin Anderson was enough to seal progression for Federer, before he went on to emphatically claim a 6-4, 6-3 victory in 77 minutes, sealing the top spot in Group Lleyton Hewitt.

Federer's win means he tops the group, leaving Anderson likely to face the in-form world No 1 Novak Djokovic on Saturday, which would be a repeat of the Wimbledon final.

"I'm very happy, the first match with Kei was tough and I never got going, but with my back against the wall maybe it's easier for me to play", said Federer.

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"I know about the comments", Federer told reporters at London's O2 Arena, after keeping alive his hopes of qualifying for the semifinals at the Nitto ATP Finals with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Dominic Thiem. Record six-time champion Federer turned on the style to avenge this year's gut-wrenching Wimbledon quarter-final defeat by Anderson in which he squandered a match point. Sometimes I get asked, 'Do you want to play day or night?' "I've got to fix it and try to be positive for next one". That was the only break in the set as Thiem coasted to victory without dropping a single point in his final service game. "I'm happy that this is another week like this".

Roger Federer was accused of getting preferential treatment at the Australian Open and many other tournaments, by the French player Julien Benneteau, earlier this week. 'You have to give him credit for that, qualifying for World Tour Finals two years in a row.' Djokovic also listed three other players who may soon shake up the rankings. I found my game much more quickly.

The two split breaks early in the first before Federer took the opener.

"Among the best I've played", Anderson said.

"I am thrilled, the body is feeling really good".

World number one Novak Djokovic now tops the group but Marin Cilic, Alexander Zverev and John Isner can all still qualify on Friday.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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