Home / Sports / Roger Federer tops Group Lleyton Hewitt at the ATP Finals with victory over Kevin Anderson | Tennis News

Roger Federer tops Group Lleyton Hewitt at the ATP Finals with victory over Kevin Anderson | Tennis News

Federer gains sweet revenge over Anderson for Wimbledon quarter-final defeat in the summer

Last Updated: 15/11/18 10:02pm

Roger Federer beat Kevin Anderson in straight-sets to breeze into the last four of the ATP Finals

Roger Federer beat Kevin Anderson in straight-sets to breeze into the last four of the ATP Finals

Roger Federer beat Kevin Anderson in straight-sets to breeze into the last four of the ATP Finals

Six-time champion Roger Federer reached the last four of the ATP Finals for the 15th time in 16 appearances after defeating Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-3 to finish top of Group Lleyton Hewitt.

Federer came into the match knowing to qualify he needed to win either one set or in the case of a straight-sets loss, five games in total if both sets go to six, or six games in total if one set goes to seven, but he was at his vintage best to get the job done in straight sets.

As a result of Dominic Thiem’s straight-sets win over Kei Nishikori earlier in the day, South Africa’s Anderson knew he had already qualified for the semi-finals, becoming the first player from his country to qualify for the knockout stages in the history of the tournament.

0:30
Federer came out swinging from the start with his forehand motoring nicely

Federer came out swinging from the start with his forehand motoring nicely

In an electrifying atmosphere at the O2 Arena both players were looking ultra-sharp in a rematch of their epic Wimbledon quarter-final, which the 32-year-old won 13-11 in the decider.

Federer applied the squeeze in the seventh game with the Swiss ace breaking through to love as Anderson lost his serve in disappointing fashion for the first time in the tournament.

0:31
‘He is toying with Anderson Got him on a string. Federer is thinking two shots ahead,’ an admiring Barry Cowan couldn’t hide his excitement with this moment of genius…

‘He is toying with Anderson Got him on a string. Federer is thinking two shots ahead,’ an admiring Barry Cowan couldn’t hide his excitement with this moment of genius…

The 6ft 8in finalist at the All England Club raised his game to hit back in the next though, before Federer made it three successive breaks of serve in an amazing turn of events.

Federer was forced to play some glorious tennis from 0-40 down to seal the set and keep intact his proud record of always reaching the semi-finals at the season-ender since it moved to London in 2009.

1:15
Federer backed up his break in the second set with a quick-fire 76-second game

Federer backed up his break in the second set with a quick-fire 76-second game

Anderson produced a higher percentage of first serves in the second set, which helped him stay ahead of the 37-year-old until Federer gladly took the one opportunity offered to him in the seventh game. After holding serve in just 76 seconds he finished the job off in style with a third break of the Anderson serve in the match to qualify for the last four.

Shot of the match

0:33
The Swiss superstar was at his vintage best with this gorgeous backhand up the line

The Swiss superstar was at his vintage best with this gorgeous backhand up the line

“Genius from Federer. What improvisation,” said Sky Sports’ commentator Barry Cowan.

Energy left in the tank for Feds

“I’m very happy, the first match with Kei was tough and I never got going, but with my back against the wall maybe it’s easier for me to play,” said Federer. “Kevin’s had a great year, but it’s been a fun group and I’m very happy to be in the semis.

“These round-robin formats are not straightforward, we’re used to it being you lose, you leave, you don’t hang around.

“Maybe it was difficult for Kevin having already qualified, whereas with Thiem winning it was maybe easier for me.

“But I’m happy I’m still alive and hope I can play a good match the day after tomorrow”

Expert’s view

I thought Federer was excellent tonight. Tactics were superb, served better, and improved dramatically from his second match and it looks like he is back. Never discount a champion. He will be absolutely delighted to have gotten his revenge over Kevin Anderson since they last met at Wimbledon. This was big for him psychologically as well.

Greg Rusedski on Roger Federer

What’s next

Kevin Anderson qualified for the semi-finals of the ATP Finals Kevin Anderson qualified for the semi-finals of the ATP Finals

Kevin Anderson qualified for the semi-finals of the ATP Finals

Federer will play the runner-up in Group Guga Kuerten, while Anderson will take on the winner with positions to be decided on Friday. Novak Djokovic is already through, while Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, and John Isner are still all in with a shout of joining the world No 1.

Federer vs Anderson: Match Stats

Federer Match Stats Anderson
3 Aces 10
1 Double Faults 2
79% 1st serve win percentage 73%
62% 2nd serve win percentage 32%
4/6 Break points won 1/4
18 Total winners 13
17 Unforced errors 24
8/9 Net points won 3/11
61 Total points won 44

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