Anderson demolishes Nishikori


Anderson will qualify for semi-finals should Dominic Thiem beat Roger Federer tonight or the Swiss superstar defeats Thiem in three

By Raz Mirza at London’s O2 Arena

Last Updated: 13/11/18 4:05pm










5:42

Highlights as Kevin Anderson demolished Kei Nishikori for the loss of just one game

Highlights as Kevin Anderson demolished Kei Nishikori for the loss of just one game

Kevin Anderson moved a step closer to the semi-finals of the ATP Finals by crushing Kei Nishikori 6-0 6-1 in Group Lleyton Hewitt at London’s O2 Arena.

Japan’s Nishikori, who shocked second seed and six-time champion Roger Federer in his opening group game, was unable to hit the same heights as he was blown away by the giant Anderson in 63 minutes on Tuesday afternoon.

0:25
Nishikori still produced some of the best shots of the match, including this stunning return

Nishikori still produced some of the best shots of the match, including this stunning return

Having qualified for the tournament for the first time, Anderson made a confident start to his ATP Finals debut with victory over Dominic Thiem and he continued his impressive run of form with a blur of aces on his way to a stunning bagel set in 31 minutes.

Anderson, the 6ft 8in South African who reached the Wimbledon final via his epic six-hour-plus semi-final win over John Isner, was moving immaculately on the O2 surface, and with Nishikori struggling on serve the 32-year-old continued his onslaught in the next set with more capital punishment.

0:27
The Japanese star held his one and only service game after winning this outstanding rally

The Japanese star held his one and only service game after winning this outstanding rally

Anderson looked on course to become the first player since Roger Federer hammered Gaston Gaudio 13 years ago to record a whitewash at the year-end championships. That was the case until the 12th game when the relief on Nishikori’s face was palpable when he finally held. However, Anderson did complete a handsome victory in the very next game to close in on the last four.

Defeat equals worst loss of Nishikori’s career when he lost to Robin Soderling 6-0 6-1 in 2008 Stockholm Open semi-final. It is also the most lopsided match at the O2 since Federer defeated Andy Murray 6-0 6-1 in 2014.

Shot of the match

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Anderson was flowing with confidence as he crushed this 88 mph for a winner

Anderson was flowing with confidence as he crushed this 88 mph for a winner

Anderson showed superb movement and power to drill this forehand past Nishikori in the blink of an eye.

Winners reaction

1:26
Anderson told Annabel Croft that his win over Nishikori was one of his best he has ever played

Anderson told Annabel Croft that his win over Nishikori was one of his best he has ever played

“It’s one of the best matches I’ve ever played,” said Anderson. “I knew I had to come out and play well against Kei, who is a world-class player. You just take each game at a time and I found great rhythm right from the start but then I was able to keep the pressure on him right throughout the match. You wait a whole year to play a match like this and to do it here feels fantastic.”

Expert’s view

I thought Anderson was absolutely brilliant from start to finish. His focus, his concentration, the way he bossed the match. He did everything right. The serve was exceptional; it was one of his best performances ever.

Greg Rusedski on Kevin Anderson

What’s next

Nishikori can still qualify for the semi-finals despite his embarrassing loss to Anderson Nishikori can still qualify for the semi-finals despite his embarrassing loss to Anderson

Nishikori can still qualify for the semi-finals despite his embarrassing loss to Anderson

Anderson will be the first African player to qualify for the semi-finals of the year-end championships if Dominic Thiem beats Roger Federer tonight or Federer defeats the Austrian in three. The Wimbledon runner-up will take on Federer in his last match in a repeat of their quarter-final at the All England Club – a match he won 13-11 in the fifth. Nishikori still has a chance of qualifying but he must beat Thiem in his final round-robin match on Thursday.

Anderson vs Nishikori: Match Stats

Anderson Match Stats Nishikori
10 Aces 2
0 Double Faults 2
82% 1st serve win percentage 50%
78% 2nd serve win percentage 43%
5/12 Break points won 0/0
15 Total winners 10
12 Unforced errors 24
2/3 Net points won 2/5
56 Total points won 29

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