Kevin Anderson sprints past Kei Nishikori for the second win — ATP Finals

Amid controversy over the alleged preferential treatment that Roger Federer receives on the tour, the man himself remained focused on the task at hand on the court last night, seeing off Dominic Thiem in straight sets to avoid early elimination from the Nitto ATP Finals.

The Swiss looked confident on his serve, winning 86 percent of the points on his first serve, while Thiem, who lost following two tie-breaks against Kevin Anderson at the weekend, was slightly off his best.

Nishikori branded his 6-0 6-1 defeat to Kevin Anderson as one of the "worst" of his season, while Anderson hailed the victory as one of the "best" of his career, and the Japanese will be hoping it was just a bad day at the office. I think we both did.

A big key for the Swiss was his play on serve, as he did not face a single break point during the one-hour, seven-minute match and won 86 percent of his first-serve points and 81 percent of his second-serve points.

The 37-year-old's proud record of always reaching the semi-finals at the season-ender since it moved to London in 2009 looked in peril after a surprise loss to Kei Nishikori in his opening round-robin match on Sunday.

The 2.03-meter Anderson served 10 aces, including three in a row in the third game of the opening set.

"I was growing in confidence and he sort of probably was going a little the other way, which is tough given the situation". "There were some lucky points but I played well today", said Nishikori.

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"I don't feel like I need to comment on this".

Meanwhile, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic edged closer to securing a place in the last four of the ATP Finals after defeating Germany's Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-1 yesterday.

Unfortunately for Nishikori he may just find Thiem in a determined mood to put things right after a shoddy set of performances in London, and he may drop a vital set.

Yet he was comprehensively outplayed by the six-foot-eight-inch Anderson, who came within one game of equalling Federer's 6-0 6-0 thrashing of Gaston Gaudio in 2005 - still the only "double bagel" in the 48-year history of the tournament.

After suggesting that the whole debate has been taken out of context, Federer told reporters there is no obvious pattern in the way the timing of his matches is arranged.

"I'll do the same tomorrow because it worked", Federer said of deciding not to practise on Monday.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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