Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fed downs Thiem to keep Finals bid alive



Fed downs Thiem to keep Finals bid alive

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Roger Federer celebrates beating Austria’s Dominic Thiem. AFP

Fed downs Thiem to keep Finals bid alive

Roger Federer staved off elimination from the ATP Finals as the six-time champion eased to a 6-2, 6-3 win over Dominic Thiem on Tuesday.

After losing his opening match at London’s O2 Arena against Kei Nishikori, Federer would have crashed out if he had been beaten by Thiem.

Only once before has Federer failed to qualify from his group for the knockout rounds in his 15 previous appearances at the prestigious season-ending event.

That lone flop came 10 years ago when the Finals were held in Shanghai and Federer is still in with a chance of avoiding that ignominious fate thanks to his comfortable 66-minute dismissal of Thiem.

Bidding for a record seventh ATP Finals crown and a first in the tournament since 2011 – which would be the 100th singles title of his glittering career – world No3 Federer must beat South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in his last group match to make the semi-finals.

“It feels good. I am very happy that I showed a reaction after the last match,” Federer said.

“Against Kei, instead of seeing things positively, I thought negatively. It was disappointing but it happens.

“Today I was more positive and happy on the court. I love playing in London and I had to remind myself what a privilege it is. I hope I showed it.”

Since winning his 20th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, Federer has been stuck in a prolonged slump by his sky-high standards.

A quarter-final exit at Wimbledon, blowing a two-set lead against Anderson, was followed by a stunning US Open last 16 defeat to Australian journeyman John Millman.

“It’s never easy to play against him, especially indoors. He deserved that win at Wimbledon but hopefully I’ll get my revenge,” Federer said of his Anderson rematch.

The 37-year-old’s defeat in his opening Finals match against Nishikori on Sunday marked the first time Federer had lost in straight sets in 46 group stage matches.

He responded to that setback by cancelling his practice session on Monday, sparking fears he was seriously hampered by a hand injury that has troubled him since the grass-court season in June and July.

Having cut a grumpy figure during his error-strewn loss to Nishikori, Federer’s spirits were lifted by this solid show, aided by Thiem’s 34 unforced errors.

After missing a break point in the opening game, Federer started to find his rhythm and he landed the first break for a 2-1 lead when the world No8 sent a forehand long.

Another break followed in the seventh game as Thiem netted a tame volley as Federer won the first set with ease.

While it wasn’t vintage Federer, he was doing enough to take advantage of Thiem’s sloppy display as the French Open finalist double-faulted to gift a break in the opening game of the second set.

That was all the encouragement Federer needed as he cruised to the finish line.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting