LONDON, November 11 2014: Roger Federer remains on course to qualify for the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after he recorded his second straight Group B win on Tuesday afternoon.
The second seed and six-time champion at the season finale defeated fourth seed Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2 for his 70th match win of the year, which includes fifth trophies. He is also attempting to become year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the sixth time.
The 33-year-old Federer will play Andy Murray on Thursday evening.
“I think with my game, I have the capability of really making him feel uncomfortable, mixing it up,” said Federer. “But it’s not always possible. He’s shown in the past when he gets the upper hand against any player from the baseline, he’s very difficult to beat. Today, for some reason, he couldn’t get it done. Maybe I was playing too well defense and offence, mixing up my serve good enough… It was really important to take advantage of the fact that I was feeling really good, and then maybe he was struggling a little bit today.
“There’s so much still at stake for me, wanting to beat a fellow rival and wanting to win the points that are at stake, go in with a clean sheet into the semis. I’m happy after two matches I’m standing here with two wins. It’s very positive.”
The Swiss hit 11 winners, including four aces, in the 35-minute first set against Nishikori, who had strapping applied to his right wrist at the changeover at 4-1. Federer saved two break points in a 14-point third game, prior to breaking Nishikori to 30. He then broke Nishikori in the third and seventh games of the second set.
â€œHe didn’t give me a chance to come back,â€ said Nishikori. â€œI didn’t play really bad.â€
When asked about Federerâ€™s performance, Nishikori added, â€œI never feel that he’s 33 right now. He still looks young and plays amazing tennis.â€
Federer has never lost his second round robin match (13-0) at the season finale. If he were to qualify for his 12th semi-final, it would tie the record of Ivan Lendl. He would also be the oldest player to advance to the last four since 2003 runner-up Andre Agassi.
Nishikori, the first Asian player to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, has a 1-1 record in round-robin play. He will now face Milos Raonic in his final group match on Thursday, having dropped to 53-13 on a career-best season.