Sport

Roger Federer advances to ATP Finals last 4

Roger Federer advances to ATP Finals last 4

Roger Federer gained sweet revenge over Kevin Anderson at the ATP Finals on Friday morning (AEDT), staying on course for his 100th title with a 6-4 6-3 win as both players progressed to the last four.

Roger Federer plays a backhand during his singles round robin match against Dominic Thiem during Day Three of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 Arena on November 13, 2018, in London.

With a straight-sets win over Anderson, Federer topped Nishikori's group, with the South African qualifying in second place.

World number 8 Dominic Thiem has secured his first win at the ATP Finals in London following a 6-1 6-4 win over Kei Nishikori in an hour and 24 minutes, scoring the second win over the Japanese in five matches.

The victory over fourth-seed Anderson in the Lleyton Hewitt Group takes Federer through to the semi-finals for the 15th time in 16 attempts at the season-ending finale and means he will likely avoid a meeting in the last four against in-form Novak Djokovic.

"It feels good, I'm very happy that I showed a reaction", Federer said after the match. Record six-time champion Federer turned on the style to avenge this year's gut-wrenching Wimbledon quarter-final defeat by Anderson in which he squandered a match point.

Thiem was under pressure on serve straightaway, facing a break point in the first game of the match, but a wide serve and cross court victor saved the chance and he would go on to hold.

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"Sometimes I get help, sometimes I don't", the 20-time grand slam champion told reporters. "But the plus side is I'm through to the semis". Another mishit makes it 30-all, and he's caught out by a looping return that drops in to bring up match point for Federer, saved, but a second match point sees the Austrian send a volley wide.

"I think I had an aggressive playing mindset, a good variation as well with my slice".

Alexander Zverev, John Isner and Cilic are battling for the other semi-final berth. "But a lot of the facts are not right, just to be clear there, from what I heard", he added.

"I was just not happy at the end of the tournament in Australia because they changed the rules, "Cilic said".

Australian Open director Craig Tiley has responded to criticism that he gives Roger Federer preferential treatment by saying that the former World No. 1 creates interest in the sport and deserves to play at times that will draw the largest spectator numbers.

"It's had more consequences than I thought". Federer held steady until 3-3 in the first set when Anderson played an unusually poor service game, allowing him to break to the delight of another huge midweek crowd by the Thames.

World number one Novak Djokovic now tops the group but Marin Cilic, Alexander Zverev and John Isner can all still qualify on Friday.


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