Kei Nishikori admits to a poor week despite toppling Roger Federer

Nov 18, 2018, 02:20
Kei Nishikori admits to a poor week despite toppling Roger Federer

Swiss great Roger Federer bounced back quickly from a disappointing loss at the ATP Finals, brushing aside Dominic Thiem 6-2, 6-3 here to keep his hopes alive at this elite, year-end event.

Federer was erratic and grumpy in his straight-sets defeat by Nishikori, but he returned 48 hours later with a majestic display which delighted the sell-out O2 Arena crowd.

But the Swiss beat his Austrian opponent 6-2 6-3, to revive his hopes of lifting a 100th title in his professional career.

"I just went into the match and wanted to show my real self again, basically, because two days ago (against Federer) was really bad", said the French Open runner-up.

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But in the next three sets he played, Nishikori won just two games as he was pulverised 6-0 6-1 by Kevin Anderson on Tuesday, before Dominic Thiem won Thursday afternoon's opener 6-1.

"I'm going to put in a solid practice so I can go into the match positively", Nishikori said. Federer will watch Thiem vs Nishikori closely and if results lean in his favour, he still has the improbable take of getting past Anderson. "I remember what a privilege it is to play here", he commented.

Federer said he had seen everything "negative" against Nishikori, "today I was more positive and I love playing in London".

Thiem saved a break point in the opening game but at 1-1 he sent a forehand long to give Federer the advantage he never really looked like relinquishing.

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Thiem, who also lost his first match, to Anderson, dropped serve at the start of the second set and at again at the end as Federer wrapped up victory in an hour and six minutes.

Where the Swiss is capable of frustrating the 32-year-old is with the use of his sliced one-handed backhand to keep the ball low and make life awkward for Anderson.

As it stands Federer will likely have to avenge his Wimbledon loss this year by Anderson to reach the semi-finals although all four players in the group could still mathematically progress.

"I don't feel like I need to comment on this". "I did a really good job constantly applying the pressure and not letting up".

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