Roger Federer and Kevin Anderson face off in the night session on Thursday, both still in with a chance of topping their group. Any Federer and Thiem combination of wins will result in him finishing first and Anderson 2nd while Anderson will top the group regardless if he wins this match. Anderson is all but qualified while Federer will know what he needs to do by the time he makes it on to court.
Anderson backed up an impressive win against Thiem with a demolition of Nishikori in just over an hour. He beat the Japanese star 6-0 6-1 to move to 2-0, showing no fear in his first outing the season ending event. “[It was] amongst the best I’ve played. I mean, getting off to a really good start. And I think I did a really good job constantly applying the pressure and not letting up.” he said afterwards. “Today, I kept at it the whole time. I just felt I returned really well, made him hit a lot of shots off his serve. I was growing in confidence and he sort of probably was going a little the other way which is tough given the situation.
The manner of Nishikori’s loss makes Federer’s opening defeat look far worse although he did bounce back with a fairly routine win over Thiem on Tuesday. He will want to improve on his 58% serving percentage from the 6-2 6-3 win but it didn’t have much impact as Thiem won just 6 points on return in the entire match while Federer had a lot of success on the Austrian’s serve.
Federer and Anderson will play each other for the first time since marathon clash at Wimbledon but the loss has not impacted the Swiss’ mindset at all. “I’m really excited to get a chance to play him again, to be honest. I’ve played well against him in the past. I hope I can reproduce something like that.” he said. He was 4-0 before that match, with none of them coming close – although Anderson is clearly a much improved player from 2015.
Prediction – Roger Federer in straight sets