By Ros Satar, at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals

  • Kevin Anderson [4] def. Kei Nishikori [7] 6-0 6-1
  • If Dominic Thiem beats Roger Federer in the evening session, Anderson will advance to the semi-final on his debut
LONDON, UK – Kevin Anderson steamrollered over Kei Nishikori to go 2-0 up in Group Lleyton Hewitt, and looks unstoppable.


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Kevin Anderson [4] def. Kei Nishikori [7] 6-0 6-1

Not that there had been any doubt that Kevin Anderson was here to make up the numbers after his blistering performance against Dominic Thiem, he more than set down his marker to be into the knock-out stages as he completely demolished Kei Nishikori for the loss of just one game.

Once more he jumped out to a commanding lead before the first change of ends and took advantage of a slow starting Kei Nishikori to extend that to a double-break cushion of 4-0. There was the briefest flurry of resistance as Nishikori finally came close to getting a game on the board. Lasting over seven minutes, Anderson snuffed that out to take the first set on his third set point, in a minute over half an hour.

This was a very different performance than we saw from Nishikori in Paris, who had been speedy and sharp. The Japanese player was struggling to get any kind of rhythm on his serve, and things got no better for the majority of the second set.

Anderson was well on his way to becoming the second player to deliver a double-bagel at the season-ending finale, after Roger Federer beat Gaston Gaudio in the 2005 semi-finals. However, from somewhere, Nishikori managed to get on the winning end of a game, to loud cheers from the crowd (where previously there had been a few wolf-whistles).

All it did though was put off the inevitable as Anderson wrapped up his second win of his debut, in 64 minutes.

Kei Nishikori in the first round-robin match of the ATP World Tour Finals 2018, London

Kei Nishikori in the first round-robin match of the ATP World Tour Finals 2018, London | (GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

There was little sign of even the spark of the level (and we are not talking much here) that Nishikori displayed against Federer on the first day of the tournament.

He said: “Today was a terrible match. for myself I don’t even know why I didn’t play well today, missing a lot. I don’t know. I just didn’t feel the ball today.

“I hope I can have a good practice tomorrow, a good session of hitting and just try to forget about today and just looking forward to playing next one.”

Anderson called it one of the best matches he had played, as he ,ore than made up for the disappointment of his Paris defeat, especially having defeated Nishikori the week before, on the way to the Vienna title.

Anderson said: “I have always found it tricky to play him. He moves so well, takes the ball so early and I think just finding ways to try and impose my game more, I think it’s been a big key. I have done that better this year against him.

“Still, we’ve had very close matches. We have played each other three times in consecutive weeks now. The times where I’ve done well is I’m taking care of my serve games and I’m finding ways to have inroads on his serve games and today obviously was an extreme example of doing it very well.”

The final round-robin matches of Group Lleyton Hewitt will take place on Thursday.



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