Nishikori out of ATP Finals after defeat by Thiem

If Federer beats Anderson in straight sets in Thursday's night match (10pm SA time) and Nishikori beats Thiem in two sets in the earlier game, Anderson, Federer and Nishikori would all have two wins.

Thiem admitted he was not holding his breath and from the moment Federer took the first set it was just a case of whether the second seed or Anderson would top the group.

"It feels good, I'm very happy that I showed a reaction", Federer said after the match.

"It's always a great challenge taking him on", he said after his drubbing of Nishikori, "and it's a great opportunity to play arguably the greatest player of all time, but I've played two really good matches so I'm excited to be facing him now".

Nishikori has won only one game since beating Federer 7-6 (4), 6-3 on Sunday evening, having also lost to Anderson 6-0, 6-1 on Tuesday, and is now out of the tournament. "It's been a long year for all of us, but maybe the break in the summer maybe helps me a little bit". But I asked to play Monday at the US Open and I played Tuesday night.

Another break followed in the seventh game as Thiem netted a tame volley as Federer won the first set easily.

The Swiss broke the giant South African's serve four times in a comprehensive 6-4, 6-3 victory at London's O2 Arena even though Anderson had not faced a single break point in his two earlier round-robin victories.

"I am happy it all worked out in the end".

As a result of Thiem's straight-sets win, South Africa's Anderson has now qualified for the semi-finals. For Cilic, the situation is much more complicated because he has to win and to see Alexander Zverev lose against John Isner.

"If he doesn't have it, who is going to have it. People want to see him play on the centre court, and they want to see him play in the best hours, which is 7.30 at night in the Rod Laver Arena", the Serbian added.

"I hope it is not a match like Kevin Anderson played this afternoon", Federer said.

The Japanese world No 9 looked poised to end the season on a high after taking the scalp of six-time victor Federer in their opening round-robin match at London's 02 Arena.

"I understand Julien's point because sometimes it does seem that maybe certain players get more favored year after year in certain tournaments". Federer held steady until 3-3 in the first set when Anderson played an unusually poor service game, allowing him to break to the delight of another huge midweek crowd by the Thames.

Anderson is realistically through to the semifinals from the Lleyton Hewitt group, with Thiem (0-2) realistically out.

"But a lot of the facts are not right, just to be clear there, from what I heard".

"I really wanted to play better today and that's what I did".

  • Rosalie Stanley