Roger Federer completed a storming comeback to form as he beat Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-3 to win his group at the ATP Finals, reaching the semi-finals for a 15th time at a season wrapup event.
The tennis icon who was shocked in his opening match at the weekend by Kei Nishikori. pulled himself together after a mentally fragile start to the eight-man tournament, steeling his game to produce a pair of victories which could lead to a seventh title shot at the elite year-end event.
The Swiss needed just 77 minutes to defeat his South African opponent taking revenge along the way for a quarter-final loss to Anderson last July at Wimbledon.
Federer broke four times and absorbed 10 aces on his way to the win.
“Maybe losing the first match helped me in the end,” the Swiss said. “I came out more relaxed tonight.
“I still have something left in the tank. I’m not thinking about the number 100 (title of his career, which he could win on Sunday)”
Earlier, Dominic Thiem finally got a win in this week at the ATP Finals, with his 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Kei Nishikori.
“I wanted to show my real self again, because two days ago was really bad,” Thiem said. “I wanted to have a much better match today – and that’s what I did.
“I did some adjustments and they definitely paid off. Of course, I’m happy that I got the win.”
Thiem was hardly tested by Nishikori, who shocked Federer in an opening match last weekend but then crumbled as he won a single game against Anderson.
Against Asia’s best player, the 25-year-old Thiem had to save four break points to take a 4-1 lead in the opening set, claiming it in 41 minutes.
Nishikori was unsure of what has gone wrong with his game here.
“I think I was fresh.But I was really tired after Paris, so I took some rest. I just didn’t feel the ball this week.