Sublime Anderson thrashes Nishikori 6-0 6-1 at ATP Finals

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Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – November 13, 2018 South Africa’s Kevin Anderson reacts during his group stage match against Japan’s Kei Nishikori Action Images via Reuters/Tony O’Brien

LONDON (Reuters) – Kevin Anderson came within a whisker of a rare “double bagel” at the ATP Finals when he trounced Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-0 6-1 at the 02 Arena on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old debutant at the ATP’s blue riband event won the first 11 games of the round-robin clash before a relieved Nishikori finally got on the scoreboard with an angled winner.

Normal service was quickly resumed though as Anderson closed out victory thanks to a 24th unforced error by Nishikori.

Only six-times champion Roger Federer has enjoyed a 6-0 6-0 victory at the season-ending tournament, that coming in 2005 in Shanghai against unfortunate Argentine Gaston Gaudio.

Anderson, the first South African to qualify for the eight-man event since 1995, made it two wins from two round-robin matches with a stunning display.

What made it all the more impressive was that Nishikori had beaten Federer in straight sets on Sunday and that Anderson had trailed the Japanese 3-5 in their head-to-head record.

Anderson, who opened with a straight sets win against Dominic Thiem, tops the Lleyton Hewitt group and will reach the semi-finals if Thiem beats Federer later.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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