ATP Finals: Tim Henman rates well below par Roger Federers chances of reaching semi-finals after shock loss
Tim Henman was unimpressed with Roger Federers performance in a shock defeat to Kei Nishikori in the round robin stage of the ATP Finals, but warned against writing off the Swiss great.
Federer cut a figure of frustration as he repeatedly failed to find his best shots, going down 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 to the Japanese No. 1 – his first straight sets defeat in the group stages of this event.
Though Henman branded Federers display as well below par, he still believes the 20-time Grand Slam champion has a real shot of escaping Group Lleyton Hewitt due to the round robin format providing he can raise his level.
This is what makes this event special, the former British No. 1 told the BBC. In any other event hed be packing his bags and heading to the airport, but he does have another opportunity.
Tomorrow there will be a few different things he can work on with his coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic, really work out whats gone wrong and hes got a chance to put that right.
It might be a little bit of revenge on the cards against Anderson having lost to him at Wimbledon. Thiem, as well, hes got a good record against so definitely dont write him off but he needs to play a lot better.
Henman was surprised by Federers error-filled performance and believes he applied pressure upon himself throughout the contest.
I said before the match, for Nishikori to win, Federer had to play way below par and thats what happened, he added.
He made 60 errors, 36 of them were unforced. I think some of those forced errors were generous.
He just never found his rhythm from the back of the court. Nishikori is not a great server, but Federer didnt make a break point in the first set.
Time and time again we saw errors from the back of the court and not getting his feet into the right positions. And when youre making that many errors it puts pressure on even a great like Roger.