By Ros Satar, at the Nitto ATP world Tour Finals
- Roger Federer  v Dominic Thiem 
- H2H: Thiem leads 2-1
LONDON, UK – Things do not get any easier for Roger Federer at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals, as he looks to snap his two-match losing streak against Dominic Thiem.
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Roger Federer  v Dominic Thiem  | H2H: Thiem leads 2-1
The buzz around the grounds was still the lacklustre performance from Roger Federer in his opener against Kei Nishikori. At the end Nishikori played less badly to record the win, and while Federer was quick to play down his quips in pre-tournament press about not wanting to go home with a 0-3 record, or that he had been losing his practice sets, there has to be some cause for concern.
The news on Monday that he had also cancelled his practice in Queen’s caused a flurry of speculation, but we will not know for sure if there is anything actually wrong until he fronts up to play Dominic Thiem.
The Austrian was roundly punished for a slow start against a very determined Kevin Anderson. While Thiem roused himself for a far more competitive match in the second set, that really could have gone either way, he finds himself bidding to come out of the group stages for the first time.
Winning the Saint Petersburg title after the US open has shown how much he has improved on the indoor surface,. If only he could get his schedule in check, it would be really exciting to see what he could do.
In the meantime, this is their first meeting on indoor hard courts and their encounters have gotten progressively closer. Thiem will need to improve his serving and be ready right from the first ball – he cannot rely on Federer having a second bad day ay the office. Federer on form has all the tools to frustrate and contain Thiem but he lost to the Austrian in Rome in 2016, and later that year on grass.
This surface ought to level things out, and you would ordinarily make Federer the favourite on an indoor hard court, but this has the makings of being a lot more finely poised.
Prediction: Federer in three sets.
Federer & Thiem are scheduled not before 8pm.
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