Kevin Anderson thrashes Kei Nishikori 6-0 6-1 at ATP Finals

Kevin Anderson

Next up, it was Roger Federer who took on Dominic Thiem in a must-win encounter for both, and it was the Swiss who eased passed the error-strewn Austrian in straight, 6-2, 6-3, sets to keep a ideal 16-0 record in second round-robin encounters at the ATP finals.

Having slumped to a shock defeat by Kei Nishikori in the group opener, another defeat for Federer would have meant he would not advance from his group.

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.

"I don't even know why I didn't play well. I hope I showed it".

Nishikori was staring down the barrel of the ultimate humiliation, and only the second 6-0 6-0 defeat in the history of the Finals, following a ruthless display by the South African.

Thiem got off to a bit of a shaky start, making 3 unforced errors in the very first game and with that, gave Federer an early break opportunity.

Thiem, who also was broken in the seventh game of the first set and the first and last games of the second set, won a respectable 50 percent of his second-serve points but just 56 percent of his first-serve points.

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Another break followed in the seventh game as Thiem netted a tame volley as Federer won the first set easily.

Overall the statistics made grim reading for Federer, who made a total of 34 unforced errors against 19 winners.Federer denied that cutting back on his schedule increased the pressure on him to do well at the tournaments he did play.

With this result, the semi-final scenarios in the Lleyton Hewitt group got a little more complicated as no player has sealed his berth in the last four, nor has anyone been eliminated, with Anderson still being the front-runner.

Anderson won the first 11 games and needed only 64 minutes to demolish the woeful Nishikori in a remarkably one-sided group stage clash at London's O2 Arena.

The loudest cheer of the 65-minute match came when Nishikori finally won a game, the Japanese holding serve on a delicate cross-court slice at 0-5. He will rarely have had such an easy outing as this one throughout his memorable 2018. "I am happy I am getting a chance to play him again and have a re-match".

"I don't really feel that I am in the mood during a World Tour Finals to discuss that topic, to be honest". I played Tuesday night. Today was a bad match.

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