Roger Federer BOUNCES BACK to defeat Dominic Thiem

Federer found himself with his back to the wall after an error-strewn loss to Nishikori in his opening round-robin match - his first straight sets defeat in 46 group stage matches at the season-ending showpiece.

But the Swiss beat his Austrian opponent 6-2 6-3, to revive his hopes of lifting a 100th title in his professional career.

Federer, a six-time victor of this tournament, suffered a shocking loss to Kei Nishikori on Sunday.

Earlier, Kevin Anderson made an impressive ATP Finals debut in the same Lleyton Hewitt group, beating Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-6 (12/10).The Wimbledon finalist, who stands at 2.03 metres (six feet eight inches) tall dominated the early exchanges and secured the crucial break in the fourth game.

Switzerland's Roger Federer (R) shakes hands with Austria's Dominic Thiem (L) after Federer won their men's singles round-robin match on day three of the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London on November 13, 2018.

'It feels good, ' said the 37-year-old afterwards.

"He was hitting the ball really well and it was making me impatient".

"I am happy I am getting a chance to play him again and have a re-match".

Nishikori took a lengthy break before the start of the second set, but it made no difference as Anderson ruthlessly raced to a 5-0 lead and moved to within one game of joining Federer in the history books.

Nishikori broke again in the sixth game and kept his nerve, serving out for victory."I lost to him twice in the last two months so I played more aggressively and things started working, especially in the second set".

"I was growing in confidence and he sort of probably was going a little the other way, which is tough given the situation".

If Federer looked bad-tempered and off his game in losing to Kai Nishikori on Sunday, Tuesday saw the return of the calm and controlled Federer, who was totally in control of his game.

"Something was wrong. I've got to fix it tomorrow and try to be positive for the next one", the 28-year-old world number nine told reporters.

"I don't even know why I didn't play well". I just see somebody across the net who's feeling it right now.

"For me, it was one of the worst days in the year", he said.

Federer will likely have to avenge his Wimbledon loss this year to Anderson to reach the semi-finals, although all four players in the group could still mathematically progress.

  • Angelo Rivera