London: Swiss great Roger Federer bounced back quickly from a disappointing loss at the ATP Finals, brushing aside Dominic Thiem 6-2, 6-3 here to keep his hopes alive at this elite, year-end event.
Two days after a surprising 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 loss Sunday to Japan’s Kei Nishikori in his first match in Group Lleyton Hewitt, the third-ranked Federer on Tuesday came out on court at the O2 Arena eager to get back on track and quickly asserted his superiority, reports Efe.
Thiem, the 2018 French Open runner-up, seemed overwhelmed by the occasion and by the opportunity to hand Federer a second loss that would have bounced him out of this tournament at the round-robin phase for the first time since 2008.
The Austrian made far too many unforced errors (34 in total), including botched easy volleys close the net. He also rarely made any impression with his signature weapon – the one-handed backhand. Federer snagged his first service break in the third game of the match and never looked back.
A big key for the Swiss was his play on serve, as he did not face a single break point during the one-hour, seven-minute match and won 86 per cent of his first-serve points and 81 per cent of his second-serve points. Thiem, who also was broken in the seventh game of the first set and the first and last games of the second set, won a respectable 50 per cent of his second-serve points but just 56 per cent of his first-serve points.