Federer routs Thiem to keep chances alive at ATP Finals

The eight singles players competing at the Nitto ATP Finals take the Jubilee line on the London Underground from North Greenwich station to Westminster station

Federer found himself with his back to the wall after an error-strewn loss to Nishikori in his opening round-robin match - his first straight sets defeat in 46 group stage matches at the season-ending showpiece.

If Nishikori beats Thiem in straight sets this afternoon then Federer is in severe trouble as he must beat in-form Anderson in the same manner, or else he is out.

He kept alive his hopes of advancing from his group with 6-2 6-3 win over the Austrian.

Earlier, Kevin Anderson made an impressive ATP Finals debut in the same Lleyton Hewitt group, beating Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-6 (12/10).The Wimbledon finalist, who stands at 2.03 metres (six feet eight inches) tall dominated the early exchanges and secured the crucial break in the fourth game. I think I did a really good job constantly applying the pressure and not letting up.

A big key for the Swiss was his play on serve, as he did not face a single break point during the one-hour, seven-minute match and won 86 percent of his first-serve points and 81 percent of his second-serve points.

On the other hand, Nishikori landed only 45% of the first serve in and that was a recipe for a disaster, losing 57% of the points in his games and getting broken five times from 12 chances he gave to Anderson.

"I get asked, 'Would you like to play Monday or Tuesday?'" Federer explained.

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The 32-year-old South African was on the verge of completing just the second whitewash in the competition's history until Nishikori won the penultimate game.

"So for me, it was really important to remind myself what a thrill it is to play here at the O2.

Something was wrong. I've got to fix it tomorrow and try to be positive for the next one", the 28-year-old world number nine told reporters.

Anderson had previously underlined his credentials as a major contender in London with a brutal destruction of Nishikori.

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

It only delayed the inevitable, though, as Anderson duly served out for a 6-0 6-1 victory in 63 hopelessly one-sided minutes. "I wasn't able to extend out rallies", Nishikori said.

Anderson is back in London just four months after losing his first Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic, and this was the kind of dominant display that carried him to the title match at the All England Club.

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