Dominic Thiem beats Kei Nishikori to keep ATP Finals hopes alive

Austria’s Dominic Thiem now has chance, albeit slim, to qualify for the semifinals of the Nitto ATP Finals in London after he outclassed Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-4 at The O2 today.

Thiem, who fell to Anderson and Federer in his first two round-robin matches, required a win to keep his faint hopes alive and he did just that, and in sublime fashion.

“I’m very happy of course because I didn’t really feel good in my match two days ago,” said Thiem on his straight-set defeat to Roger Federer.

“I really wanted to play better today and that’s what I did. Whatever happens tonight, it’s nice to get a win this week.

“I wanted to do it for myself and for all the spectators to show my real self today basically and it was way better.”

Thiem’s victory guaranteed a semifinal spot for South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in his debut at the event. For Thiem to qualify, Anderson must beat Federer in tonight’s encounter, without the great Swiss winning a set or more than five games in total.

If Anderson wins in straight sets, all three of his opponents in Group Lleyton Hewiit — Thiem, Federer and Nishikori — would be tied on one win each and the same number of sets, with the qualifier decided by percentage of games won.

Interesting, innit?

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