Roger Federer will begin his campaign for a record seventh ATP Finals title in London on Sunday against the Japanese No. 1 Kei Nishikori, in his opening match of 2018 Nitto ATP Finals.
The Roger Federer v Kei Nishikori 2018 ATP Finals robin-round match will be played on Sunday, November 11, at 8:00 pm local time (7:00 pm GMT). Watch the Roger Federer v Kei Nishikori live streaming here.
The two players have had quite a remarkable season so far. While Federer hasn’t been as active as his Japanese adversary, he has certainly been far more efficient with his time on the tour.
Federer v Nishikori Head to Head:
The two players have faced off nine times in their careers and Federer leads Nishikori 7-2. Federer is on a six-match winning streak against the Japanese player since 2014.
Federer’s Near-Flawless Form
The win-loss record of the Swiss stands at 46-8 with four singles title to show for. He started the season on a stunning note by successfully defending his Australian Open title in Melbourne. Thereafter, he won the ATP Rotterdam wherein, he defeated Grigor Dimitrov in the final.
He achieved a similar feat at the Indian Wells as well although; he had to settle for the runner-up trophy after losing to Juan Martin Del Potro in the final. After sitting out the clay season, he returned on the tour with a winning run in the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.
His impeccable service game and years of experience helped him get through the remainder of the season with absolute finesse. Federer could have just as easily added more titles to his tally this season. However, he succumbed in the finals of Cincinnati Masters and ATP Halle to Novak Djokovic and Borna Coric respectively.
Nonetheless, the Swiss participated in the Swiss Indoors Basel where he won the title in front of his home crowd. That win further cemented his position in the top three. Prior to coming to London, he played in the Paris Masters where he lost in the semifinal to Djokovic.
As for Nishikori, he secured his ticket to the tournament on the back of an unfortunate withdrawal by Del Potro owing to an injury. His withdrawal opened the path for the Japanese, who had earlier missed out on the qualification by a little over 600 ranking points.
Nishikori started the season as the World No. 24 – a drop he incurred in the ranking after missing out most of 2017 season on account of a wrist injury. After a five-month injury layoff, he returned on the tour in January by participating in the Challenger events.
After winning the Dallas Challenger event, he switched to the ATP circuit, starting with ATP New York. He reached the semifinal there, only to lose to Kevin Anderson. Despite a couple of decent runs, his form was still a bit shaky.
After a couple of disappointing spells, he reached the final of Monte-Carlo Masters, where he lost in the final to Rafael Nadal. He had a similar run in the Wimbledon and Italian Open as well, where he reached the quarterfinals. However, his major breakthrough came in the US Open when he reached the semifinal.
Having lost to Djokovic there, he followed that excellent run with another runner-up feat in the ATP Tokyo and ATP Vienna later in the year. There, he lost in the final to Daniil Medvedev and Kevin Anderson respectively.
Considering the head-to-head record between Federer and Nishikori, the Swiss holds a 7-2 lead. The two players have met twice this season – in the quarterfinal of Paris Masters and Shanghai Masters. On both the occasions, the Swiss won comfortably in straight sets. Nishikori’s last win over the Swiss came in 2014 Miami Masters.
Needless to mention, Federer is set to start this game as the favorite to win. We can expect him to get through in straight sets. However, any major mistakes on his end and Nishikori will waste no time in capitalizing on those.
The Federer v Nishikori match in the ATP World Tour Finals will be played on November 11, and kick-start 8:00 pm local time (BST).