By Ros Satar, at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals

  • Kevin Anderson [4] v Roger Federer [2]
  • H2H: Federer leads 4-1
LONDON, UK – The battle-grounds on either side of London could mark a turning point for Kevin Anderson, as he faces Roger Federer in the final round-robin stage match.

 

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Kevin Anderson [4] v Roger Federer [2] | H2H: Federer leads 4-1

It looks like the colonial stomping ground of London will be a turning point for Kevin Anderson, as he has every chance to advance into the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals with a perfect record from the group stages.

If he was determined against Dominic Thiem, he was nigh on ruthless against a hapless Kei Nishikori as he lost just one game against Roger Federer’s conqueror in the opening round. Hopes that the organisers may have had of a No. 1 versus No. 2 showdown are fading rapidly as Anderson’s star is most definitely on the rise.

READ MORE | Tennis | ATP World Tour Finals 2018 | Tall-talk as Kevin Anderson gets off the mark on season-ending debut

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Roger Federer in the first round robin match at the ATP World Tour Finals 2018, London

Roger Federer in the first round robin match at the ATP World Tour Finals 2018, London | Getty

Federer cut a frustrated figure on the first night, spraying errors and really not looking as though he had made the adjustments for his timing, his shot selection, and pretty much everything in between.

In fairness, Nishikori had been equally bad in that match and in the second set was just slightly less bad as Federer. That level of inconsistency came back in spades as he could find absolutely no answer to anything that Anderson threw at him.

Federer lifted his level against a largely ineffective Thiem to get his first win, but really needs to look for a win against the in-form South African to avoid going out of the group stages for the first time since 2008.

READ MORE | Tennis | ATP World Tour Finals 2018 | Roger Federer stunned by Kei Nishikori in opener: ‘Practice has been all over the place’

READ MORE | Tennis | ATP World Tour Finals 2018 | Federer keeps qualification hopes alive as he deflects Benneteau criticism of preferential treatment

For such a tall unit, there has been a vast improvement to many aspects of Anderson’s game but what has been evident here has been his sense of self-belief. Yes, he can get plenty of free points off his serve, and Federer’s usual variety of shot means he could get the big man on the run, and more importantly could make this very solid.

However, if he can’t connect with the ball or hit it quite as crisply and cleanly as we have been used to seeing, this throws this match completely wide open. Anderson is unlikely to have two perfect games in a row, but surely the knowledge that he beat Federer on grass is a confidence builder.

Unless Federer can tap into some vintage form, he may be able to put up a good fight but could ultimately find himself out of whack when it comes to this tournament. While he has the variety to tie up Anderson in knots, he generally seems to cut a bit of a weary figure this week.

Prediction; Anderson in three sets.

Anderson & Federer are scheduled not before 8pm.

 

 

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