Thursday’s ATP Finals Tips: Success for Nishikori and Federer?

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Day five at the ATP Finals in London signals the final round of matches for the Lleyton Hewitt group. 

Roger Federer requires a win against Kevin Anderson to keep his qualification hopes alive, while Kei Nishikori can guarantee his semi-final place with victory against Dominic Thiem.

Who will prevail at the O2 Arena? We’ve previewed both clashes below.

Dominic Thiem v Kei Nishikori

It’s difficult to see a way through for Thiem after successive straight set defeats. The Austrian ace has won just 14 games so far, with half-a-dozen of those coming in a 6-7 second set defeat to Anderson.

Nishikori couldn’t cope against the power of South African. But he showed enough against Federer in his opener to suggest he should have the class to take the spoils here.

Our traders agree, making the Japanese star the 8/15 favourite, against 6/4 for Thiem. The pair’s head-to-head record over three sets also points toward a Nishikori success.

The 28-year-old is three from three over the shorter format. That includes victory in Vienna last month, where Nishikori recorded a 6-3 opening set win for the second time in three meetings between the two players.

He’s 9/2 to do so again here, while there’s 8/13 about Under 2.5 Sets in the match.

Roger Federer v Kevin Anderson

The equation for Federer is simple. Beat Anderson or face group stage elimination from the ATP Finals for only the second time in 16 years. Our traders reckon he should have enough at 4/9.

But his South African opponent shouldn’t be taken lightly. Not only is he unbeaten in his two matches this week, he also beat Federer in a five-set epic at Wimbledon earlier in the summer.

Add in the 6ft 6in star’s powerful serve, and the Swiss legend could find things tougher than anticipated at the O2. It’s 5/4 for there to be Over 2.5 Sets in the match.

Another factor to consider is the pair’s head-to-head record. Federer has won all four clashes over the best of three sets format – the last of which came back in 2015.

Anderson has improved since then, but the world number three still holds the upper hand in terms of quality. Federer is 4/1 to edge the first set 6-4 in what should be a close encounter.

Click here for more ATP World Tour odds

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket and horse racing.