ATP World Tour FinalsRoger Federer

Federer Stays Alive in London With Victory Over Thiem

Roger Federer hopes of advancing to the Semi-Finals at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals are still alive after the Swiss defeated Dominic Thiem 6-2 6-3 in 1 hour and 6 minutes.

The six-time year-end champion was staring down the barrel of a gun after a horrendous performance against Kei Nishikori on Sunday but he responded well, mixing it up from the baseline to break the Austrian four times and losing just six points behind his serve.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Thiem WTF 2018

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. A nervy-looking Thiem lost the opening two points but managed to save a break point to hold for 1-0.

Roger then levelled to thirty and got the early breakthrough in game three when Thiem fired a routine forehand long. 

The Swiss consolidated for 3-1 and in game seven got the double break helped by a botched volley and a double fault from Thiem before a clever short return put him 5-2 in front. There were no problems serving it out and he did so to 15.

Into set two and with Thiem looking ropey he gifted Roger the break with a double fault and a forehand error.

Roger consolidated to love for 2-0 and soon found himself up 3-1. A chance for the double break presented itself in game five and although Thiem held, he made zero inroads on the return as Roger reeled off his next three service games to take it 6-3.

Match Stats

  Roger Federer Dominic Thiem
Aces 4 1
Double Faults 0 3
1st Serve 58% (22/38) 50% (32/64)
1st Serve Points Won 86% (19/22) 56% (18/32)
2nd Serve Points Won 81% (13/16) 50% (16/32)
Break Points Saved 0% (0/0) 43% (3/7)
Service Games Played 8 9
1st Serve Return Points Won 44% (14/32) 14% (3/22)
2nd Serve Return Points Won 50% (16/32) 19% (3/16)
Break Points Converted 57% (4/7) 0% (0/0)
Return Games Played 9 8
Winners 9 11
Unforced Errors 11 34
Net Points Won 45% (4/9) 27% (3/11)
Service Points Won 84% (32/38) 53% (34/64)
Return Points Won 47% (30/64) 16% (6/38)
Total Points Won 61% (62/102) 39% (40/102)

Shot of the Match

Thoughts on the Match

Fed Thiem London 2018

It feels good, I'm very happy. I showed a reaction after the last match against Kei. It was a great challenge for me, I'm happy with how I played.

A better performance here from Roger and he was able to raise his level compared to Sunday to give himself a shot of making the semi-finals.

It's still difficult to judge how well he's playing as he was obviously, helped by Thiem's woeful display that featured 34 errors and just 6 return points won.

However, he served better and seemed to be more au fait with the court, taking the ball early and hitting a flatter ball off the forehand as well as mixing up the pace/spin nicely on the backhand.

As for Thiem, he looked like he had no real clue where the ball was going once it left Fed's strings and he never had any timing or rhythm from the baseline. 

Roger's slice threw him off a number of times and all he really seems to do is try to hit harder. Some of his volleys were hacky too, it looks like he doesn't change grip half the time and ends up snatching at the ball.  I like his shotmaking but he needs to find more consistent and reliable ways to win points to do well off clay. 

Anyway enough Thiem bashing as he's not the only one to play wishy-washy tennis in the O2. Fed managed it Sunday and Nishikori matched that today against Anderson winning just one game.

I'm not sure if it's the conditions, the court or just the end of season lull but the World Tour Finals has produced some shocking matches in recent times. Speaking of the court, here's the CPI data for this year for those interested:

London-Updated

Predictions vs. Anderson

Next up is the in-form Kevin Anderson who's made mincemeat of Thiem and Nishikori in his two previous Round Robin matches. The big-serving South African is coming in off a stellar year on tour and he looks to be enjoying conditions and moving very well.

Roger leads the H2H 4-1 but Anderson won their last match at Wimbledon and he's improved immeasurably since the last of Roger's win against him.

In those four previous meetings he was all at sea on the big points but now he's tightened up his game and seems to have a routine/mindset to keep calm, go point for point and it's worked.

Not sure what to expect but I think Anderson is the favourite going in and it's more just a case of seeing what Fed can bring to the table. It looks like he's going to be sticking to the winning formula of no practice tomorrow so we'll see if that works again ๐Ÿ˜€

I will do the same again tomorrow because it works. It wasn't my forehand or backhand or serve or anything, it was about my head. After a long trip home after the Nishikori match, we came to the decision to take it easy.

As for what he needs to do to qualify, there are scenarios where he can still qualify with a loss (and also ones where he can fail to qualify with a win) but the match is on Thursday night so he will know exactly what he needs to do when he steps on the court. You can see the permutations below.

WTF Semi Finals Permutations

What did you guys think of the match? Let me know in the comments.

Federer vs. Thiem World Tour Finals 2018 Rating

Serving
Returning
Net Play
Winner to Unforced Error Ratio
Break Point Conversion

Betterer

An improved performance from Roger who served well and mixed it up nicely. Woeful from Thiem who was never at the races.

User Rating: 3.52 ( 3 votes)

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

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130 Comments

  1. All I could say is Roger seems much better version than what we saw in first match but same time hard to assert that as Thiem all over .. hopefully he puts much better show against Anderson…

    1. Yep, I reckon so. That is, unless it was me going off and watching the Kingdom of the Shades (Google it) in the cinema and not caring. (Fed *has* noticeably done better recently when I’ve been paying him little or no attention)

  2. Well, next Thursday I’ll root for agent Smith and hope that Mr. Anderson is given a chilled “welcome to the real world”. Sorry, Wachowski sisters, this script must go the other way this time. And if it doesn’t, I’ll take the red pill myself. Gulp.

    1. Mr Anderson has got to realise that if he hears that sound ,it’s the sound of Feds balls whistling past
      Him,tennis balls that is๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. Hey guys! Managed to watch my first court side Federer match!! Finally – so glad I chose Tuesday and not Sunday!! Phew! Would love to post a court side post if Jonathan’s cool with that?

  4. Thursday night? ๐Ÿ™ Dammit. I carefully take the week off (ha ha) intending to see Roger in whatever daytime session he’s in – and they don’t give him one?! When was the last time that happened? (Benneteau would have a field day!) Or maybe, given what I said above, I should just ignore him …

    1. Actually, can’t decide whether Fed knowing what he has to do is a good thing or a bad thing. Might put too much pressure on him?

      Oh, and who else missed the Bear Grylls programme on Monday night? ๐Ÿ™

      1. Yeah I was surprised no day session but the TV ratings rule supreme.

        Running Wild – it’s absolutely terrible made for TV nonsense. I watched it a while ago mainly as background noise while doing something else. I get it’s made for simple minds and 12-year-olds, but it’s the sort of programme that never needed to be made, you learn nothing from it and how they make the show an hour I’ll never know.

        Well actually I do, because after each commercial break it replays 30 seconds of what you’d seen before the adverts to fill it ๐Ÿ˜†

        I’m sure Bear is a nice guy but he’s essentially a fraud. Plus his constant hamming it up is a joke. “One slip and his career could be over”. “This bit is extremely tricky, we don’t know how much weight the frozen lake can take.”

        Using tennis racquets as snowshoes, putting paracord through a tennis ball and trying to hit it around a tree? Even Fed looked like he was having difficulty to play along but he managed it, describing it as a truly special day.

  5. Much better tonight, but anything would be better than his first match. Thiem was spraying the ball all around and that certainly helped. Hope it’s Anderson’s turn on Thursday to shower us with his UFs and Thiem wins against Kei. Roger could have made it so much easier for all of us and himself if only he won his first match. Oh well. Good thing is 3 more wins and title 100 is still theoretically possible. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. The post-match analysis left out that Anderson, at 32, now returns and defends almost as well as the backboard from Mallorca. And misses about as much. If it’s good enough for the Spaniard and of course Djokovic. I love that age is no barrier now to achievement in professional sport. Unfortunately – as I can attest- it still applies everywhere else.

    1. Improvement isn’t impossible at 30-32 though is it. It’s not like he’s come from nowhere, the margins are so small. Anyone in the top 100 can beat anyone, so even the slightest change can breed a huge difference in results.

      I remember Verdasco using Gil Reyes for fitness in 2009, he had 2 of his best seasons on tour ever. But he never had it in the head to really win big.

      1. Incremental improvements, such as to particular shots or patterns of play, I can accept, but I don’t trust a dramatic “spike” late in a player’s career when they have previously reached a plateau where they have stayed for some years. As you say, the margins at the top are very small – but those margins are, by their nature, very difficult to add to when you are already a highly-trained and physically mature athlete, which a 30-year old player will be. Otherwise, any reasonably adequate pro could do it. But they don’t. Most established players ranked in the 40’s and 50’s in their maturity will not get much better than that, but could easily fall below that. A player of over 30 should never be a better athlete than he was 5 or more years earlier. If he is – that’s a red flag. One way a player can improve on the very small margins afforded by their stroke skills is they can become a physically better player – bigger, faster, stronger and tireless. That’s what doping can do. As I have said previously, I think Anderson is now a significantly better player in every department than he was for most of his earlier career. He is faster than he used to be, gets to the ball sooner and on balance, and so misses less. He doesn’t tire – so he can play at that level for sustained periods, and even for matches of many hours. I can easily see how the improvement in the physical part of his game has boosted his confidence and made him mentally stronger. He wouldn’t need a sports psychologist to give him that.

        Take a player like Robin Haase. Like Anderson he is tall, has a big serve and powerful ground strokes. He is a solid player. He has been ranked in the same general territory as Anderson for most of his career. If he suddenly starting appearing in grand slam finals and regularly bowling top players I would be asking the same questions of him. Journeymen don’t naturally become contenders as they near the retirement village. The improvement by Kachanov, by contrast, is more incremental than spectacular and consistent with a player still early in his career. He is 10 years younger than Anderson.

  7. Good report Jonathan, thanks. I was only able to watch the first set, but Fed looked much better. Hard really to predict the next match at this point. Here is rooting for a good day against the South African.

  8. What is it with Benneteau. Top ranking is 25, never won a singles tournament on tour, yet made nearly 10M USD. Much of the increase in that prize money over the last 10 years can be attributed to the big 3 and their dedication and value to the sport. Novak said it best. Benneteau needs to man up and apologize. He took what was probably locker room talk among “B” players and exposed it for what it is … nonsense.

  9. How many will cheer for thiem tomorrow……!!!!??? Hope he wins in 2 then federer have a chance, but it would be hard efen if fed win but Kei wins in 2 then fed is gone.

    1. Do you seriously think, it was tennis yesterday? No, it was business. I have never seen Thiem with such body language. Occasionally hitting winners and when leading 40:15 in the game, a series of very weird mistakes followed.
      What about Nishikori?
      I can’t help, this all looks after a rescue scenario for to push Federer at least to the final to play at least vs. Djokovic.
      I don’t understand Jon’s high ratings. Serving? 4 aces for the match against the opponent who was doing everything he could to miss the return regularly. Converting breaks? It was Thiem who converted breaks against himself. Federer could be sitting on the bank, with the same result.
      Thiem delivered a good match against Anderson and didn’t lose the serve in second set. Anderson was not so good as numbers could suggest.
      Nishikori and Thiem are two victims of the deal. I hope they can show their best tennis tomorrow.
      And I’m only curious, what ATP will invent to make Federer (never seen him playing so bad before) wiin the title. Maybe Djokovic retires from the semi and then another deal with final opponent happens. This is is not tennis, but ugly business .
      I can prove it before any court. I hate this kind of business. Hopeless.

      1. Do me a favour PRF. Such low level trolling.

        Maybe you can get hold of Thiem’s bank statements and see what came in after yesterdays match. Did he get $203,000 even though he didn’t win?

      2. Read Benneteau speaking about Federer’s privileges and influences in ATP circus. B. is not a troll – don’t need your blog to publish his opinions. It’s also not my agent.

      3. PRF baseless claims. What ATP will earn extra by making RF and Djoker play in knockouts as tickets are already sold out. TV deals are already set.
        If ATP want the same always, why Coric won in Shanghai preventing big 3 final. If he would have lost its pretty normal and nobody questioned the result right? If ATP wanted it more entertaining then it should went to 3 sets. Please enjoy the tennis that is being played instead of these non-sense posts.

  10. Glad Fed won, but PRF instead of trying to stir things up, and you
    (forgive me if I’m mistaken saying that these players lost so that
    Federer can win) you having an insight into the workings of all things
    tennis, perhaps another theory for you to mull over….since Roger
    played one of worst 1st RR matches ever perhaps they all want
    Kevin Anderson to win.

    1. Who do you mean with “they all”? ATP? Do you think Anderson’s title is worth more for them than Federer’s ???
      Yes, Roger played poor against Kei, who was not brilliant too. Federer did play poor against Thiem too and Thiem was playing definitely his worst career match, so I think it’s right to think about and ask questions.
      Believe or not, I know Thiem’s character very well and I know his look in matches he plays poor and looses. Never seen Thiem not fighting even for a while or not being angry at least once when playing bad. This one was the first. That’s why I think, there must have been a second bottom.
      In my eyes Fed did play both matches (Nishikori, Thiem) on the same level. The only difference was the result. And while Fed’s loss to Kei was not the end of the London story for Fed, the loss to Thiem would. That’s also the difference. And Nishikori winning at least a set against Anderson (look here their H2H) would be end station for Fed. If you cannot know “facts”, use logics – that’s my motto.

      1. oh my… look who is back

        Well, I won’t trust a logic of someone who don’t even understand basic physics.

  11. Read Benneteau speaking about Federer’s privileges and influences in ATP circus. B. is not a troll – don’t need your blog to publish his opinions. It’s also not my agent.
    And tell me when lastly Nishikori lost to someone winning only 1 game.
    And when it was lastly, Federer needed “permutations” to win a tournament.
    And if Nishikori beats Thiem tomorrow by 6:0, 6:0 and then Federer defeats Anderson exactly to catch the “qualifying permutation”, do me a favor (it’s for sure easier for you than for me) and watch bank statements of Anderson. And check was was the payer. Some charity organization I guess. ATP or Team8 are not so stupid to transfer dirty money from their accounts.
    And if you sometimes use a logic (can you?), do it for this case and look if you at least don’t have a question mark on the end.

    1. Why don’t you write a blog post on what you have uncovered? This is pretty big. Let me know when it’s done and I will share it here. But it must be over 3,000 words.

      1. I have done it before posting here. I don’t need 3000 words to explain but you can still order a 3000+ article from me on this subject and if you pay the usual proce in freelance journalism, I will deliver before Federer plays the next arranged match in London. Deal?

  12. You will be cheering for Thiem tomorrow, I guess. Be careful. There are “permutations” with Thiem winning and Federer not qualifying.
    Kei and Dominic are both victims of the same crime. But I think, they both (being almost out of contention) will simply all of a sudden play well and deliver some good tennis match (without dirty money in the background).

      1. I’m writing about such things in depth since long time, but you don’t read. Why should I post it on your blog?

      2. You may find it very funny. One of my first posts on the subject was about Federer’s alleged bathroom injury. I have posted first on the old Federer’s website, so you may have missed it. If you have good memory recall Federer’s knee after short rehab and compare with Stan’s knee after long rehab. Curious to know more? Pay per view ๐Ÿ˜‰

      3. Feeding the troll here, no doubt, but … you do realise they had *different* knee injuries? Fed’s presumably dealt with by keyhole, Stan’s (from other people’s comments) having required more major intervention?

  13. Do you recall Agassi’s Memoires, where Agassi discloses, he used regularly drugs at some important stage of his career, winning a lot. Not my speculation and you can read paying only for the book.

    1. Interesting. Up to a few days ago you wrote some pretty normal & neutral comments here.

      Now that D. Thiem – who seems to be your tennis idol – lost to Fed I have the impression that you started some kind of vendetta…

      1. No. I’m following Thiem and like his game. I expected a brilliant match and Thiem’s loss. Vendetta … do you think, my today’s comments are not normal? Only those are normal, which don’t touch the GOAT (I’m sorry, still human, not god). OK. I’m not angry because of Thiem’s loss. It would be normal if the match was normal. It was not. Fed won, but was far from a decent level. Before the match I watched highlights of Federer vs. Thiem in Stuttgart 2016. Fed lost, which was due to his recovery, but this was a good competitive match. Thiem would never win it if Fed was at his usual level. I’m not sad about the loss. I’m frustrated because of things just happening in tennis (my opinion). Thiem was not expected to win but was expected to be competitive. He was not to the extent I have never seen before. Simply trying to understand. For some reason (?) yesterday was also not Nishikori’s day as he lost to Anderson in the way, which was not less surprising than Thiem’s loss. I’m OK with Thiem’s loss. Thiem is OK with his loss too. I’m not OK with Fed being pushed by ATP to have some “epic” SF or F with Federer. Federer is going to lose his reputation. Probably nobody expects him to win everything like in the first and second prime time. I’m not a fanboy. I like tennis, which includes all greats and nice upcomers. You don’t follow my blog (you must not, of course). You would know I’m not this kind of tennis fan.

  14. Better match against Thiem, pretty low count on winners but who cares…we have a W here. Rooting for him to beat KA tomorrow. Revenge is on the menu my man.

  15. For Jon:

    Donald Trump:
    “Today, we gathered for Diwali, a holiday observed by Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains throughout the United States & around the world. Hundreds of millions of people have gathered with family & friends to light the Diya and to mark the beginning of a New Year”

    How about mentioning the people who “invented” it and for who it is ALSO for???? You know, you orange a**…. US…. HINDUS

    Jon, I thought you were making a joke during Livechat, but that moron…..

    #sorryhadtogothere

    1. Oh and yeah…. You go Rogi…. one match at a time before you lift the WTF trophy and someone (preferably Roger) please beat Satan ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Why do you think Trump wrote that? Do you think he has any idea who Sikhs and Jains are? It was a mistake by one of his staffers. Any tweet without whole words / phrases / sentences in capital letters and a generous sprinkling of exclamation marks, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and name calling has been written by someone else.

    3. Oh cut him a break, Katyani! Let’s find out how much that Indian PM knows about the culture on the other side of the Atlantic. Knowing who celebrates Diwali is the last thing that anyone needs to worry about at this point.

      1. Sid : The Indian PM is not very knowledgeable about anything in general, apart from how to bear hug people and make them uncomfortable. OTOH, the info in the tweet could easily have been verified. Of course, DT is not to be blamed for it, since he didn’t write the tweet in the first place, and anyway, he subscribes to a postmodernist version of absolute relativism when it comes to facts and reality in general.

      2. DT is purely feeding Dems their own medicine. Dems do the same behind the mask of PC. They, Clinton, Obama, Hillary, Schumer…there were all for strict laws against illegal immigration less than a decade ago…and now the same people call DT heartless and un-American. Basically, no laws need to be followed. Who is the bigger liar now?

        And that Macron guy, where the heck was he when Hitler had their nuts in his hands? Were they singing songs of patriotism like, “Allons enfants de la Patrie
        Le jour de gloire est passรฉe !” Who showed up and helped them? And America and DT, the nationalist, would do it again if need be.

        Dems piss me off!

      3. Sid: Non Americans don’t usually see everything within the Republican / Democratic binary framework. I don’t have to compare DT’s behaviour to that of the Dems to understand that he has a loose relationship with facts. In fact, historically speaking, US attitude towards the rest of the world has been remarkably consistent, irrespective of the ruling party.

    1. Only to tell you some truth. And this prediction: tomorrow Federer doublebagels Anderson to finish first in the group and avoid Djokovic in semifinal. Nishikori defeats Thiem so, he finishes second in the group to lose to Zverev in semis. After all Federer defeats Zverev (they are almost family, so don’t need ATP for a small deal) and Federer doublebagels Zverev in the final. Still playing crap like so far in London. Any qiuestion?

    2. Sorry, forgot the most important. I was only waiting for this question from you. This is some automatism. After your question I disappear again for longer, only to make you all happy ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Well that is rather a bold claim๐Ÿ˜ŠDjoker not nearly as impressive today as against Isner.Even had to get his hanky out a couple of times๐Ÿ˜Ž
    Watched the JokervSascha match.Toe to toe in the first set until Z missed two break points.Then dropped his own serve
    with mixture of unforced errors and double fault.Rather a shame should have gone to a tiebreak at least.In the second Z
    just gave up,serve was terrible and didn’t even bother to run for some balls.So Joker got handed this win on a plate.
    Very poor attitude from Z I felt.
    This tournament has produced some awfully poor matches so far.

    1. Djoker has the comfort of peaking first in final. Must nit go for being impressive, when being non-impressive can beat the second force in the group by 6:4, 6:1.
      Fed will need to peak tomorrow if the result of Thiem vs. Nishikori is extreme (Thiem double bagelling Nishikori). If Nishikori double bagels Thiem, Fed will need to double bagel Anderson. Funny. You must cheer for 2-3 tie-breaks in day session ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. Jon, I thought you had banned that clown from this forum. Any reason for letting him back in to troll with no real substance but just hatred that his favorite player who will never be good enough to win slams lost to the GOAT who has passed his prime and retirement age?

    1. Where is your real substance? I thought it was a blog about Federer not about me. Has this changed? Hatred is just what you are telling about me and another players, who respects Federer and if he is not able to win slams, it’s good for Federer, so why to claim? I’m not eager to see him winning slams. I’m eager to see him playing good tennis. This has nothing to do with Federer. And, as I told zlllions times, Federer is not your ownership. Everyone is allowed to like him his own way.
      Yes, your GOAT (for me he is only (!) Federer) has passed his retirement age and it’s nice, he plays still, including beating “my favourite player” (don’t you know his name? you can call him by name). What’s wrong in having more than one favourite player? I have more. It’s still Federer, it’s Dominic Thiem, it’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, almost every one-hander. If you want Jon to ban me again, ask him. it’s bis blog not your’s.

      1. quote
        “If you want Jon to ban me again, ask him. itโ€™s bis blog not yourโ€™s.”

        read again,
        that’s exactly what Ganesh did, asking Jonathan why he let you back. Ganesh is not even talk to you.

  18. A solid win for Cilic in three against Isner.I do like Cilic,just wish he could be more clutch in big matches.Now to see
    who goes through in this half of the draw apart from Djoker.

  19. I think Fed has to cheer up (for a change – he usually mastered to be inspiringly positive) and thats maybe the background for his saying “will do the same again tomorrow because it works. It wasn’t my forehand or backhand or serve or anything, it was about my head.” Why this is so may provoke more or less fruitless speculation, but an obvious one might be disappointment after the Paris match vs Djoko, where he gave so much, and was so close…(still annoys me, so this is an obvious projection!) – Djoko said that he (Djoko) performed some of the best he ever had, so….but there may be innumerable other kinds of reasons, and maybe more than one. Still, hoping for upping the spirit and making it later today!

  20. Somebody summed up Fed’s challenge today :

    “If Thiem wins then Roger just has to win.

    If Thiem wins in 2, Roger is probably through even if he loses (comes down to games).

    If Nishikori wins, Roger must win in 2.

    That’s the simplest way for me to remember”.

    …Go Roger… please win…otherwise, it will be the bololo in the Hewitt dashboard … as our French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe would say !

    1. Thank goodness you(or someone) have summed it up so neatly.I just could not make sense of the table-
      sorry Jonathan๐Ÿ˜€My lack of perception.
      Talking of Prime Ministers,ours is in a spot of bother-has lost five ministers in the last three hours!

    1. Please remain silent. Mr. Fed is turning dangerously fast into a specialist in “Now you expect me to do this, but I will do differently so tomorrow you can all write countless theses about what the hell just happened.”

  21. Dominic delivers!
    6-1 6-4!
    (how on earth Roger managed to lose that match?!!)
    Both Thiem and Nishikori with 1-2 matches 2-4 sets record.
    Games: 26-30 Thiem, 19-33 Nishikori
    Nishi is out for sure. Roger has a 21-18 games record. He has to win at least 5 games, so even a 6-2 6-3 loss is enough for the semis, although it would be a lousy way of getting there.
    Bottom line is that Roger is through to the semis unless he really messes things up.

  22. Well, it looks like Kei had emptied his fuel tank against Fed… and he hadn’t even raced that fast.
    The WTF (read the acronym as you will…) should be scheduled to take place at least 1 week after the previous ATP 1000/500, if such a competition is to mean anything. I think it should; after all, it’s a competition between the best of the year with a RR phase, so it’s a bit fairer than a 100% playoff (less talk about the draw).
    Otherwise, it becomes a fight too see who is the least crippled.

    1. But there *was* (just about) a week between the two. And I really don’t see Djoker suffering because he didn’t quite get 7 days – in fact, he did, because he played Monday (was that deliberate because he was in the Bercy final?)

  23. A much more solid match from Thiem with some amazing shots at times.That lob that landed on the line,was called out and then didn’t challenge!He won the game anyway but I think the New Gen thing of getting rid of lines judges
    and having automatic hawk-eye on every point is the way to go.
    Nishikori was a forlorn figure,serving badly and leaking errors.
    So unless Fed messes up badly(and who knows about that) he goes through to meet the Djoker.๐Ÿ˜Ž

    1. According to suisse press Roger needs 6 games to reach the semis, thus each loss with this assumption brings him there.
      I prefer him to win. If this happens (independent on win in 2 or three sets) he would win the group and would most probably avoid Dopovic right after.
      In any case he would have one day of rest more before the semis than his opponent from the Guga-Group…

      1. I guess I’d prefer him to win, rather than just squeak through. But let’s just see how he plays without any practice.

      2. Actually, if he is to go through, I want him to win, because otherwise he’ll play Djokovic in the SF, and that’ll be the Saturday night match. Not that I think I’d really expect him to win it anyway, but I suppose you never know.

        Anyway, one match at a time. Let’s see if he gets through first.

  24. Well, what a paradox. Federer is probably through due to Thiems poor game against him and outstanding game against Nishikori. Federer needs now to win 6 games. ThiemFans wish him to make it. Thiem is happy enough with his today’s win. Not better (in terms of numbers) than 2016 and 2017 in London. But still qualified for the first time with own hands and this 1 win is worth more than earlier wins over Monfils and alternate PCB. CPI for London is so far measured at a bit over 40, so it’s faster than Shanghai this year. Not fast enough for Federer, but very fast for Thiem. Good luck, Fed ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. They have displayed the CPI on TennisTV during the match. It was 40,4 or something like this.
        Yes, this was Thiem’s latest trick. He told he was thinking on this before, but probably the last impulse was his Fed match, where Fed was regularly feeding him deliberately with too short “dead balls” and his topspin landed often in out. The idea was to take a bit of pace off his racket and the solution was to exchange vertical natural guts with synthetics and additionally to reduce the stringing strength by 0,5 kg. I don’t know, but he felt, it was working. The “trick” was a bit weird and risky, because it changes a lot in the behavior of the strings. Natural guts are for power and durability and synthetic ones for spin. Could have messed up completely his game, but he tested it yesterday in the practice with Khachanov ans was happy. Given he had nothing to lose, it was worth the risk. For Fed too ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. If you reduce the string tension, power increases. My understanding was he’d actually increased tension to have more control. Who said he’d gone down in tension? With the size of his swings, it’s not like he needs extra power.

        I first read he had swapped gut from mains to crosses, and poly to from crosses to mains. But from TV looked like a full bed of poly.

        Natural gut is for feel. Not durability. It’s the least durable string, even more so when it is in the mains. I have used it many times, but it makes more sense to put it in the crosses at club level as it doesn’t last long at all.

      3. @Jonathan,
        Maybe some misunderstanding from em, but I guess it will be explained on his Instagram and FB and in some interviews, I guess.
        Maybe he finally decided something else than he told before the match and after Khachanov practice. I always thought just like you and I use the same pattern like you. My experience so far was, when I use lower tension, the racket is more comfortable (has better feeling), I didn’t test it for adding or reducing power. Logically it should add power.
        But Thiem was explaining the idea with reducing power (which he generates by his hitting technique) and adding control. The whole racket was strung in the same color, but natural gut can be colored to, no? I will translate and post here, when I find something credible.

      4. He has added tension to 27 kg (my mistake) but used natural gut for crosses and poly for main (he used before the opposite).

      5. Ah right ye so what I first thought then, gut to crosses instead of mains and increase in tension. You could tell from the sound off the racquet it was tighter strung when I was watching. Makes sense for him I think.

  25. Well I just checked the score of the Nishikori match. So the conspiracy theory is correct, I guess? Nishikori is paid by shadowy figures in the ATP (Chris Kermode, presumably) to throw his final match vs Thiem in order to help Federer get through ?

    Anyway I hope to see Federer come through here, he needs a real victory over a top performing guy. I have to check the permutation table again to see if Fed can finish 1 in the group and avoid Wall-ovic in the semifinals.

    1. It’s simple. Beat Kevin, 2 or 3 sets, and Roger finishes first because a two way tie put the head to head winner on top. And scrolling up, I think Jonathan has already put up a table.

      Lose, and Roger needs 6 games like everyone is saying. Something like a 3-6 3-6 scoreline would suffice. But is it really 6 games? Wouldn’t the percentage be totally skewed if Roger loses say..

      6-4 1-6 1-6? That would mean he won 6 games that amount to 25% of the total games played compared to 6 games in a 3-6 3-6 loss for a 33% game win rate for the match? Wouldn’t the first scenario hurt his overall win percentage?

      Is winning 6 games enough? I’m not so sure now.

      SOMEBODY HELP!

      1. I stand corrected. A 6-4 1-6 1-6 loss would still mean Roger won 33% of the games. But how about a 7-6 0-6 0-6 loss? Roger is out. The possibility still exists.

      2. 3-setter won by Fed would mean, Fed and Anderson have the same count of matches won. If 2 are tied, first the direct result decides. So any win of Fed would make him have the same number of wins and be the winner of the direct duel of the two. Games would
        If Fed loses in 3 (like in your example) he cannot end first, having only 1 match won (and Anderson 3).
        In this case you must compare numbers of sets won to Thiem. This one won set would be enough to qualify (1 set won more than Thiem. No need to count games in this case, because only Anderson and Fed stay in contention and obviously Anderson is first. To be first, Fed needs to win no matter how, in 2 or 3 sets. To pass Thiem Fed needs to win at least 6 games , should he lose in 2 sets. That’s all, I guess. Ask Jonathan, to be sure ๐Ÿ™‚

      3. 7:6, 0:6, 0:6 is still better by one set won and Fed passes Thiem and qualifies second. You don’t need to rely on games percentage if you win a set more. After the number of matches won, then direct duels result, than won sets percentage, games only count if the 2 are still tied. But they don’t if Fed wins a set. To qualify winning 6 games, in whatever constellation, is good enough.

      4. [7:6, 0:6, 0:6 is still better by one set won and Fed passes Thiem and qualifies second. ]

        Aha! Phew! Just freaking hold 6 times and we’ll see Dopovic in the semi. If the courts are faster than Shanghai, Fed has a great chance.

    1. No, I was talking about in case of a loss but it looks like a mere 6 games in a 2 set loss will do it. Or, a 3 set loss would be good enough too.

  26. Thiem about speculations about his chances:
    “Thiem: “I’m not hoping for it because it’s not very realistic. I think both [Federer and Anderson] really deserve to go [to the semifinals]. That’s how it’s going to be at the end.”

  27. Thiem is such a nice young man,as is Nishikori.I wish them both well,incredibly talented players.
    As for tonight I think Fed in three,but only if wearing the white shorts๐Ÿ˜Ž

  28. WOW! MAGNIFICENT! 6-4, 6-3 wins. I hope that he keeps playing with his white and blue combination. You were right Annie and I hope he keeps this combination throughout the rest of the tournament.

    1. It was great wasn’t it.Brilliant play.It was rather funny because Annabel Croft asked him if he would be continuing to wear his lucky white shorts(do you think she has been reading this blog)and Fed
      looked utterly bemused.He said he is not superstitious but if I were him I would chuck the blue ones
      away๐Ÿ˜Š
      So a great result ,he avoids Djoker in the semis and has a day off tomorrow.

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