WTA Finals: Oldest player Federer eases past Nishikori
London: Roger Federer is on the verge of qualifying for the semi-finals of the ATP Tour Finals after cruising to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Japan's Kei Nishikori at London's O2 Arena.
Roger Federer returns to Kei Nishikori during their World Tour Finals clash in London yesterday. Pic/AFP
Federer, bidding for his seventh title at the prestigious season-ending event, took just 69 minutes to secure his second Group B win and the World No 2 will be guaranteed a last four berth if Milos Raonic defeats Andy Murray later on Tuesday, or if Murray beats Raonic in three sets.
Roger on the brink
At 33, Federer is the oldest player to qualify for the Tour Finals in his 13th consecutive appearance, but he has been in age-defying form over the last three days.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion has defeated Raonic and US Open finalist Nishikori, two of the much-touted next generation of rising stars, without dropping a set and will guarantee top spot in the group, which would bring the added bonus of likely avoiding a semi-final showdown with Novak Djokovic, if he beats Murray.
Federer, who last won the Tour Finals in 2011, didn't need to be at his very best against Nishikori, who made 30 unforced errors in a sloppy effort that left him with one win from two matches, damaging his hopes of making the last four ahead of his final group fixture against Raonic.
"I've know Kei since he was 17 years old and always thought he was a great talent. He's going to have a great future so I'm very pleased with the way I played," Federer said. "I'm looking forward to playing Andy.
We've played some of the greatest matches. "I'm not sure I'm going to be able to watch him tonight though. I've got kids so it's during a time where I usually put everybody to bed!"
Nishikori needed treatment on his right wrist during the match, but he hopes to be fit to face Raonic. "It was just a little bit of soreness. I have one more day off, so I will try to recover well and hopefully I can win the next one," he said.
"I didn't play really bad. But I wasn't really consistent with my serve and I had a few unforced errors. Roger took the important points and he didn't give me a chance to come back."