In what could amount to a win or go home match for the participants in Group Lleyton Hewitt, Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem face off in the night session. Both come into the match 0-1 in the group, having lost straight sets matches on Sunday.
Federer was surprisingly poor in his opener against Kei Nishikori, making countless errors in defeat. It puts him in a sticky situation in terms of qualifying, although going 2-0 in his next 2 matches should see him qualify. “Unfortunately I couldn’t keep the lead that I got early. That was important, I think, at the end. That was the key of the match.” he said afterwards, referring to his inability to convert several 0-30s in the first set. Check out the Federer vs Thiem H2H stats.
Thiem couldn’t find a way past the booming serve of Kevin Anderson in his loss, winning just four points on first serve return. It’s a situation he can’t afford to repeat against Federer, who is more than capable of putting up such impressive numbers too. “I had no chance basically in the first set to break him. Me, myself, I was in trouble almost every service game. So the first set was not really good.” he said. “Then the second one was a very good set of tennis, I would say. Was just one little ball here and there why I lost at the end.”
Federer actually has a losing streak against Thiem, going 1-2 in his 3 meetings with the Austrian. None of those matches in 2016 were indoors, a surface that should benefit Federer a bit more. He will need to make major improvements however, with potential elimination on the cards.
Prediction – Roger Federer in straight sets