Nishikori falls to Anderson in ATP Finals

The eight singles players competing at the Nitto ATP Finals take the Jubilee line on the London Underground from North Greenwich station to Westminster station

Federer, who has won this event six times, looked uncharacterisically poor in his opening match loss to Kei Nishikori, but - after skipping practice on Monday - outclassed Dominic Thiem from the off on Tuesday night to win 6-2, 6-3.

The Swiss star suffered a shock opening-round defeat against Nishikori before seeing off Thiem in straight sets in round two.

Kevin Anderson handed Japan's Kei Nishikori a humiliating 6-0 6-1 thrashing at the ATP Finals as the South African moved to the brink of a semi-final berth on Tuesday.

By contrast, Federer is very much alive and all will come down to the final round of matches, when he will face the unbeaten Anderson and Nishikori will play Thiem.

Anderson was dominant on his serve throughout, winning 12 out of his 15 service points in a one-sided first set.

Anderson had previously underlined his credentials as a major contender in London with a brutal destruction of Nishikori.

"That's amongst the matches best I've played", said Anderson, who was beaten by Djokovic in this year's Wimbledon final. "I think I did a really good job constantly applying the pressure and not letting up".

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The ATP Finals is the year-end climax to the men's season and features only the world's best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams as they battle it out for the last title of the campaign.

The world No.6 secured the early break in the second game of the match, eventually converting his third break point, and didn't look back as he raced to a 6-0 lead.

"I was growing in confidence and he sort of probably was going a little the other way, which is tough given the situation".

Thursday will see members of Group Lleyton Hewitt fight for their lives to advance to the semi-finals here at the O2 in London, with all four players still in with a shout of qualifying.

Unfortunately for Nishikori he may just find Thiem in a determined mood to put things right after a shoddy set of performances in London, and he may drop a vital set. "Maybe it's the round-robin format that got to me", Federer said.

Anderson was brimming with confidence, being nearly untouchable on serve and made some powerful returns followed by loads of pulsating groundstroke to steamroll the Japanese No. 1, serving him a nice bagel and taking the opening set 6-0.

Anderson looks nearly certain to reach the semi-finals even if he is beaten by Federer on Thursday.