Published: Sun, November 18, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Normal service resumed as Roger Federer breezes into semis — ATP Finals

Normal service resumed as Roger Federer breezes into semis — ATP Finals

Now competing in the season-ending ATP Tour Finals, Roger Federer has denied accusations from Julien Benneteau that he receives special treatment at the Australian Open because of his reputation within the sport.

Tiley responded to the former French Open doubles champion in a lengthy statement on Tuesday and made it clear there is no preferential treatment meted out to Federer, but his appearances on the biggest courts and at prime is due to the demands from fans and broadcasters alike.

Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley has launched a defense over claims that the Australian Open officials favor Roger Federer when it comes to scheduling matches.

Roger Federer insists he isn't thinking about the opportunity of winning his 100th career title after he progressed to the semi-finals of the ATP Finals in London.

"We want players to love our sport, our event and get appropriately rewarded". The whole round-robin format is quite unusual, now I feel like it's win, or you go out. With my back against the wall, maybe it is easier for me to play.

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"Sometimes they tell me, you know, "Asia wants you to play at night". I won't let that get in my head", he said. Sometimes they come ask, sometimes they don't. I think it's just going to be hard to finish it.

"I hope it is not a match like Kevin Anderson played this afternoon", Federer said.

Marin Cilic, who lost to Federer in the final of the Australian Open in January, questioned the tournament's use of the heat rule in closing the roof before the title clash.

It means the 37-year-old faces an uphill battle to reach the semi-finals for the 15th time and another straight sets defeat by Austria's Dominic Thiem on Tuesday could prove terminal.

"I'm happy that this is another week like this", said Federer.

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Still, Thiem broke him in the seventh game after forcing an error with his backhand and he sealed the deal with four winners in game 10 to most probably end his 2018 season with a win (Roger Federer is the favorite to join Kevin Anderson in the semis from this group), his 54th in 2018.

Nerves were apparent from both players at the start of the contest at London's O2 Arena on Thursday even though Anderson had already secured a berth in the semi-finals earlier in the day when Dominic Thiem won the first set of his match against Nishikori.

"Very happy, the first match against Kei was tough, I never got going", Federer, who rebounded from an ugly performance against Nishikori to beat Thiem in his second round-robin match in the Lleyton Hewitt group, said on court.

That would be a repeat of the Wimbledon final, but if Federer got revenge for Anderson's victory over him at Wimbledon, Anderson might see that as an omen for avenging Djokovic's win in the same city four months ago.

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