Nitto ATP Finals Preview & Prediction: Roger Federer vs Kevin Anderson

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Roger Federer will face off against South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in the decisive final match in Group Lleyton Hewitt. All four players are yet to know their fate and there are series of permutations. Federer could win in straight sets and still go out, or he could lose in straight sets and qualify. That is how complicated the situation is at the moment.

Kevin Anderson, who has been flawless up to this point, is also not safe despite comfortably topping the group and blowing Nishikori away for the loss of just one game. But he will be pretty confident about his chances of qualifying to the semis because it would take an epic turnaround of events for him to be eliminated. With that in mind, Anderson will play with a lot freedom and he will have nothing to lose. The South African is probably Federer’s worst choice opponent this week (apart from Djokovic), and there is a real possibility he could follow up his giant killing upset at Wimbledon in July with just his second victory over the Swiss.

Prior to their match at Wimbledon, their previous four meetings–which were all won by Federer in straight sets–did not have a single tie break. The World No.3 truncated his unforced errors count from 34 in his match against Nishikori on Tuesday to just 11 against Thiem. He also posted an incredible 86% of first-service points won.

Kevin Anderson, on the other hand, was sensational. His dominant over Nishikori puts him top position with the most games won and least games conceded. He lost only five points behind his first serve. That was the most clinical serving display you will see all year.
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Semifinal Scenarios

Prediction: I think a lot will also depend on the first match during the afternoon. A Nishikori win in straight sets puts a lot of pressure on Federer, and that will work into Anderson’s hands. Anderson will also want to top the group and potentially avoid Djokovic in the semis. Either way, I don’t see Nishikori winning, and I also don’t see Anderson troubling Federer. This is not a banker by any means, but I feel Federer will be too good for Anderson in two tight sets.

Pick: Federer in 2

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