Nishikori's stunning win stopped Federer's win streak in opening matches at the ATP Finals at 15 consecutive wins, and the Japanese star was happy to finally overcome the Swiss maestro.
COMMUTERS on the London Underground were shocked on Friday night when they were joined by sporting royalty in Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. However, Federer's prediction has been accurate and the outcome has disappointed his fans. Amazingly, it was the first time in 46 round-robin outings at the ATP Finals that he had failed to win a set. "That is going to be exciting", Federer said.
Thiem was outplayed by South African debutant Anderson in the first set of the opening match in Lleyton Hewitt group.
"If you go deeper into a comparison, it has to be through titles, achievements, and then Federer stands out more".
Thiem tightened up his game in the second set and looked far more aggressive, with his serving numbers rocketing higher but Anderson held firm to take the set into a tie-break.
'For me it's a good spot because I don't have much to lose, I don't have anything to lose.
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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.
The 28-year-old said his confidence increased after the French Open and Wimbledon. No.6 South African Kevin Anderson, enjoying the best phase of his career at age 32, makes his debut in the tournament and remains its most unsafe floater, while the presence of No.10 John Isner, Nadal's replacement, will increase the chances of at least one marathon match next week. "He knows me very well apparently, or he thought so".
When asked whether he was unhappy with the umpire, Federer said in his post-match duties: "I was, just because I thought what was his argument, why the warning?"
Federer is targeting a record-extending seventh title at the prestigious tournament but suggested that his pre-tournament practice, described as "a bit all over the place" due to playing at different venues may have been a factor.
To avoid that, he might need to beat both Kevin Anderson and Dominic Thiem, who played each other earlier Sunday, with Anderson prevailing 6-3, 7-6 (10).
The title is contested by the eight players who have accumulated the most ranking points over the season and is in a round-robin format, with the best four players reaching the knockout semi-finals stage.