The second day of Group B action will feature a rubber match of sorts between Sunday’s two victorious players Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori. The two competitors are locked in a tight head-to-head battle, as the overall series is tied at 2-2. They also split their two meetings so far this season, with Nishikori edging the Swiss star at the Miami Masters, while Federer notched the win later in the season in Halle. Check out the Federer v Nishikori H2H matches
A six-time champion at the Barclays World Tour Finals, Roger Federer arrived in London with the knowledge that he had been placed in the trickier of the two groups. However, he began his campaign at the O2 Arena by avenging his Paris Bercy loss to Milos Raonic with a 6-1, 7-6(0) victory in the evening session.
Federer stormed through the opening set in 25 minutes but faced far more resistance in the second set. Nevertheless, while the match remained on serve through 12 games, Federer would dominate the tiebreak and finish off the match without letting the Canadian win a single point in the ‘breaker’.
“I think I played really well for probably one and a half sets,” said Federer. “It was good to get off to a good start like I did against him at Cincinnati and Wimbledon. I broke in the first game and sort of never looked back.
“Thankfully he didn’t play quite so well like he did in Paris. He gave me a few shots here and there, especially at the beginning of the breaker. I think those were crucial. I was happy to bring it home because it was very close at the end of the second.”
Japanese No. 1 Kei Nishikori also began his week in spectacular fashion, as he dispatched British No. 1 Andy Murray in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in front of the Scot’s adoring fans. It was an impressive start for Nishikori, who was making his WTF debut.
“I was a little bit tight in the beginning, but I started feeling a little more confident in especially second set,” said Nishikori. “I was very, very solid… I was a little bit surprised at how I played on the court: very confident. I’m looking forward to play the next match.”
With the head-to-head series tied at 2-2, this will undoubtedly be the match to watch on Tuesday afternoon. Both Federer and Nishikori have had solid seasons on the tour and appear to be in fine form this week in London. While Federer should hold the advantage on this surface, Nishikori could once again prove that he should never be underestimated.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Three Sets