ATP Finals Day 3 schedule, preview and predictions: Federer v Thiem & Anderson v Nishikori
Group Lleyton Hewitt got off to a fascinating start on Sunday evening, with Roger Federer the victim of a shock early defeat.
Fortunately the Swiss, given the round robin format of this event, he will get another bite of the apple on Tuesday as he looks to keep himself alive at the ATP Finals.
Should Federer suffer another loss at the hands of Dominic Thiem and Kevin Anderson beats Kei Nishikori, then the world No. 3 will be ending his season with a group stage exit.
Group Lleyton Hewitt results and Day 3 schedule
Day 1 results
Nishikori 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 Federer
Anderson 6-3 7-6 (12-10) Thiem
Day 3 schedule
Klaasen/Venus v Mektic/Peya
Anderson v Nishikori
Cabal/Farah v Murray/Soares
Federer v Thiem
Here we take a look at Wednesdays singles line-up and predict who will come out on top.
Kevin Anderson vs Kei Nishikori
Both men got off to impressive starts and both know what a great position theyre in to secure qualification to the semi-finals.
Anderson showed no sign of nerves on his debut at the O2 and played a brilliant first set before holding his nerves in the second.
However, his win was certainly less of a surprise than Nishikoris.
The Japanese had lost to Federer in straight sets twice in the past month building up to this tournament but the Swiss was far from his best and Nishikori took full advantage.
Hes a two-time semi-finalist in London and, as he did with Federer, has the benefit of facing Anderson twice in recent weeks.
Nishikori suffered defeat at the hands of the big-serving South African in the final in Vienna – his ninth consecutive tour-level final loss – before exacting his revenge on the Wimbledon runner-up at the Paris Masters.
However, Anderson looked in better nick in his first round so Im tipping him to all but book his spot in the last-eight.
Prediction: Anderson in 3
Roger Federer vs Dominic Thiem
The losers of the opening matches will collide in Tuesdays night session.
While Thiem losing a match on an indoor hard court wont have come as the greatest surprise, the manner of Federers defeat was simply stunning.
The 37-year-old had never before lost a round robin match at the ATP Finals in straight sets but was seemingly powerless to find his best form, unable to hide his frustration as he miscued and shanked his way through the night.
Federer skipped training on Monday, sparking speculation over his physical condition, although ATP Finals organisers were adamant he has no intention of withdrawing.
Assuming hes simply resting up and isnt carrying anything too serious, one has to presume he will put in a far superior display on Tuesday. If he doesnt he will surely lose.
Thiem will hope to continue in a similar vein to his performance in the second set against Anderson, which he lost 12-10 in a breaker, while he does hold a 2-1 winning record against the world No. 3.
That said, it remains tough to back against Federer, who so often finds a way.
Prediction: Federer in 3
More: Roger Federer