Federer Cruises Past Thiem in London – Roger Federer recovered from his first ATP Finals loss in the group stage since 2013 with a confident win in his second match. The Swiss maestro defeated Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-2 6-3 in 1 hour 6 minutes. The 37-year-old Swiss served four aces to no double faults, making 58% of his first serves for the match. Attacking tennis behind his serve was on display from the 6-time champion, who won 86% of points on his first serve and 81% of points on his second serve.
Capitalizing on some poor moments from the 25-year-old Austrian, Federer converted four of seven break point opportunities while not facing a single break point on his own serve. The win was a much needed one for the 20-time grand slam champion, as it keeps his hopes alive for advancing to the semifinals of the ATP Finals for the 15th time in 16 appearances. In the round robin format, two of the four players in each group move on to the semifinal stage. Kevin Anderson currently leads the group with a 2-0 record, and Federer is tied with Kei Nishikori with 1-1 records, though the 29-year-old Japanese player holds to head-to-head record advantage with his first match win.
Federer will face Anderson on Thursday, with a few scenarios that can land his spot in the semifinals. A win in either two or three sets would book his spot as either #1 or #2 in the Lleyton Hewitt group.
“It feels good. I’m very happy that I showed a reaction after the last match against Kei,” Federer said. “No match is easy here. It’s maybe not something I’m that used to lose and come back and play again, but it was a good exercise. It was a great challenge for me and I’m happy with my attitude. I’m happy with how I played, and it was good fun against Dominic.”
“[What is] important for me is to play a good last match here in the round robin, try to beat Kevin. He has been playing great. He has had a wonderful season. Played great against me as well at Wimbledon,” Federer said. “That’s my focus. I can’t talk about what would come next because it’s a hard match in itself. My first-round match here wasn’t great, so today was better, and I need to keep that up against Kevin, obviously, if I want to have a chance to stay here in London.”