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2018 Nitto ATP Finals preview: Kevin Anderson looks to begin on a high against Thiem

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson will take on Austria’s Dominic Thiem in the first singles match of Group Llyeton Hewitt on Sunday.

Anderson has put together a really good year so far, winning the New York Open and the Vienna Open. In between, he made impressive runs in other tournaments, and notably, reached the final at Wimbledon. His performances have seen him maintain his place well within the Top 10 and earned him qualification for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time in his career, becoming the first South African in 23 years to compete at the prestigious year-ending event. He will now seek to open up with a win against Dominic Thiem.

Thiem has had an equally impressive season. The 25-year-old captured the Argentina Open title at the beginning of the year and enjoyed success during the clay-court season, clinching a title in Lyon and then making the finals of the Madrid Open and the French Open. In September, the Austrian claimed the St. Petersburg Open title and then reached the semifinals of the Rolex Paris Masters this month. String of strong performances that has earned him a place in the elite eight-man field for the third year running.

Dominic Thiem of Austria will feature at the Nitto ATP Finals for the third year in a row.

Anderson and Thiem have played each other eight times in the past, with Anderson winning six of those. However, Thiem has won all two of their meetings this year – the Madrid Masters semifinals and the US Open fourth round. Regardless, Anderson is keen on getting off to a good start.

“I need to focus on what I have to do on the court,” said Anderson. “Every player is a tough opponent. If I can keep doing what I’m doing, I will be playing the best tennis I can. When I do that, I know I can beat anybody. I have to really compete and I know there are no easy matches. I’m looking forward to starting things off.”

Will Anderson’s best be enough to subdue the dangerous Thiem, or will the Austrian make it a forgettable debut match for the South African?

This match is live on Centre Court at The O2 London from 3:00pm Nigerian Time on Sunday.

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