Nishikori throws Federer off game to win ATP opener

12 November, 2018, 09:59 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • Nadal out of ATP Finals with abdominal injury Rafael Nadal pulled out of the season-ending

Nishikori opens his tournament against world number three Roger Federer and admitted it would be tough after two recent losses against the Swiss.

Tennis superstars Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic gave London commuters "a pretty cool treat" when they joined them on the Tube for a trip to Westminster Station.

If Kevin Anderson was one of tennis' "fringe players" 24 months, then his exploits throughout the past two years definitely saw him crack the big time, as he raised his profile and etched his name among the best players in the game.

Anderson's groundstrokes were nearly as impressive as his serve, particularly in the first set, and drew a series of errors from Thiem in the fourth game, which resulted in the crucial break. What more can I ask for?

"Maybe both of us had a bit of nerves too, not knowing how to attack second serves, trying to get the right feel for it".

The second set was a much tighter affair with serve dominating but Anderson sneaked a gripping tiebreaker 12-10 on his fourth match point, banging down his 13th ace to open his account in the Lleyton Hewitt group.

DOMINIC THIEM (25/Austria/8): Contesting the opening match against Anderson (15.00 CET/Sky). Overall I thought I'm hitting the ball OK. It was Nishikori's third win over Federer over the past ten meeting.

"I'm going up against the No.1 player in the world", Isner said.

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He admitted his practice has been "a bit all over the place" but had no excuses.

The Swiss great made 20 unforced errors in the first set and Nishikori capitalised, forcing a tie-break in which he raced to a 6/1 lead before sealing it 7/4. It also happened in 2007 (and he came back to win the tournament) and '08. Amazingly, it was the first time in 46 round-robin outings at the ATP Finals that he had failed to win a set.

"I'm happy how I played this season".

First up for the Austrian on Sunday's first day of play is Anderson, against whom Thiem holds a 2-6 record.

While he played down the subsequent warning afterwards, Federer was not himself in the tiebreak, going down 6-1 with a flurry of errors before clawing back to 6-4.

"He knows it, and believe me, what's more important is that the guys on the other side of the net know it", Paul Annacone, former coach to Federer, told The New York Times.

Doubles players are paid significantly less, with an undefeated pair earning $517,000 between them for winning the title and $200,000 if they are beaten along the way.

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