ATP Finals: Dominic Thiem beats Kei Nishikori to boost Roger Federer's hopes

Djokovic defended Federer

The comments follow accusations made on French radio by retired tennis professional Julien Benneteau, that the "prime time" Australian Open slot of 7.30 p.m. affords players an unfair advantage, as the temperature is much cooler than during the day when other competitors are forced to play in sweltering heat.

"It's always a great challenge taking him on", he said after his drubbing of Nishikori, "and it's a great opportunity to play arguably the greatest player of all time, but I've played two really good matches so I'm excited to be facing him now".

"Over the last two Australian Opens, he played 14 matches because he was champion and finalist".

What the match in Paris gave me was certainty that my game was on, that I've played enough tennis right now, I can play no problems through three-hour tennis.

Meanwhile, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic edged closer to securing a place in the last four of the ATP Finals after defeating Germany's Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-1 yesterday. They played at 2.30pm, in 104 degrees.

Benneteau, a French journeyman who reached a career-high ranking of 25, was particularly referring to the Australian Open, a tournament Federer has won on six occasions. "But in some tournaments, there are big differences in the conditions [from court to court]. He has no idea what that's like".

But Federer was supported by world No 1 Novak Djokovic, with the Serbian star suggesting the six-time Australian Open victor had earned the right to "special treatment" for all the good he has done for the sport.

But Tiley, responding in a lengthy statement, insisted that six-time victor Federer's "box office" stature is behind the scheduling of his matches.

"Now, when he promotes the Laver Cup, there are a number of conflicts of interest that have become disturbing".


Asked about the controversy, former world number one Federer said that while he does speak to tournament chiefs about scheduling, he doesn't believe he gets special favours.

"I understand Julien's point because sometimes it does seem that maybe certain players get more favoured year after year in certain tournaments".

Roger Federer kept his hopes alive at the ATP World Tour Finals, by beating the Austrian Dominic Thiem in straight sets. "Sometimes I get asked, 'Do you want to play day or night?'" the 20-time grand slam champion told a news conference. Sometimes, we have our say. Sometimes they ask me, you know, Asia wants you to play at night.

"Well, you never know what happens tonight, but I don't think it's going to happen. I did a really good job constantly applying the pressure and not letting up", Anderson said. "'First, we have to get through our groups", Federer said.

Federer was more concerned with the way he rediscovered his form to convincingly beat Thiem, admitting his head had not been right in a straight sets defeat by Nishikori.

"I don't think a whole lot", he said.

"Julien and guys like him are also benefiting from tennis, because of Roger, because of what he has done for the sport."

Roger Federer's management group is a Laver Cup partner.

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