Dominic Thiem kept his ATP Finals alive on Thursday, beating Kei Nishikori in straight sets and pinning his hopes on a comprehensive win for Kevin Anderson over Roger Federer.
Thiem, who came into his final round-robin match at London’s O2 Arena with two defeats — against Anderson and Federer, beat Nishikori 6-1, 6-4 in the afternoon session.
The Austrian sixth seed broke his Japanese rival, who shocked Federer in his opening match, twice in the first set and a single break was enough for him to take the second set and seal the match.
Nishikori won just 56 percent of points on his serve throughout the match, in the Lleyton Hewitt group, and hit a total of 41 unforced errors, compared to 21 for Thiem.
Second seed Federer, looking to reach the semi-finals for the 15th time in 16 ATP Finals appearances, is 4-1 ahead in his head-to-head record against South Africa’s Anderson but he lost to him in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in a five-set classic.
Top seed Djokovic is already through to the semi-finals after beating Alexander Zverev in the Guga Kuerten group, with Zverev, Marin Cilic and John Isner battling for the other semi-final berth.