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Nishikori Stuns Out-Of-Sorts Federer

12 November, 2018, 09:57 | Author: Delia Walker
  • Nadal out of ATP Finals with abdominal injury Rafael Nadal pulled out of the season-ending

Federer, who enters the tournament sitting on 99 ATP Tour tournament wins - second behind only American Jimmy Connors with 109 - is looking forward to end the year on a high.

Federer - victor of 20 Grand Slam titles - and Djokovic - a 14-time Grand Slam champion - boarded the London Underground last Friday en route to the Houses of Parliament launch of this week's Nitto ATP Finals.

The world No 3, seeded second due to Rafael Nadal's injury-enforced absence, fell to a 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 defeat - his first ever straight-sets defeat at the round-robin stage of the tournament.

London commuters were left stunned as tennis royalty Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic rode the Underground on Friday night.

The two debutants, 33-year-old John Isner and 32-year-old Kevin Anderson, are among the five oldest first-timers in the history of the tournament and the oldest since its infancy in the early 1970s. However, Federer's prediction has been accurate and the outcome has disappointed his fans.

South Africa's Wimbledon runner-up opened his campaign at the Nitto ATP Finals with a 6-3 7-6 (10) win over Dominic Thiem that leaves him well set to reach Saturday's semi-finals.

When asked for his assessment of his performance, he said: "I felt we both struggled throughout the first set".

"The Challenger Tour I think it's really important".

"Federer made a couple of unforced errors and then the errors cascaded".

'When we are travelling we don't force it if we are in Shanghai or Tokyo and I am very busy or there are no courts around, we will not force it.

He repelled a fierce Thiem fightback, saving a couple of set points in the second set tiebreak before clinching a debut win with his 13th ace - celebrating by inviting the crowd to join in a verse of "happy birthday" to his watching wife Kelsey. For many years one of the world's top, stand at the beginning of the year at the Australian Open in the finals. "He knows me very well, apparently - or he thought so ..."

Both players raised their level as 10 consecutive points, which included three match points for Anderson and two set points for Thiem, went with serve. "It's just that practice has been a bit all over the place". I think out of the taller guys, he's playing outstanding from the baseline.

More thanks to poor returning than good serving, neither man was able to create so much as a sniff of a break of serve in an error-strewn opening set, until Nishikori's backhand denied Federer two set points with the score at 6-5, 15-30.



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