Roger Federer opened his campaign for a record-breaking seventh ATP Finals with a shock straight-sets defeat to world no. 5 Dominic Thiem. The Swiss could not find any rhythm for a chunk of the match and failed to covert the crucial break points would have him the upper hand in the match.
“Had my chances, I felt. [I] Didn’t feel like I was outplayed or anything. Just maybe that first-round hiccups a little bit. Not hitting your spots on the serve when you need to, getting into trouble early in the service games which maybe doesn’t happen later on in the tournament.” said the Swiss.
“I thought also Dominic saved himself real well when he had to. So I thought he played a tough first-round performance today. And my game was probably just not good enough, and the start didn’t help.”
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has qualified for the ATP Finals 17 times in his illustrious career, and only once, in 2008, has he failed to come out of the group stages. It will be imperative for the 38-year-old to beat both Matteo Berrettini and Novak Djokovic in his group, as a loss to either player will likely eliminate him out of the tournament in this early stage. Federer commented, “Not allowed to lose anymore for me. That’s how it is every week of the year for the last 20 years. So from that standpoint, there is nothing new there.”
Federer will now play the world no. 8 Matteo Berrettini who lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets earlier. The pair last met in Wimbledon this year in which the Swiss beat him comfortably in straight sets, 6-1 6-2 6-2.
“Matteo, with his serve, with what he can do, obviously any opponent is dangerous here.”
“I’ve got to recover, I’ve got make sure I play better than today, and hopefully I can win that match.”
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