Roger Federer (# 3) is already back on the wall in the London ATP Masters.
The Basel lost 7-5 7-5 to Dominic Thiem (No. 5) in the second match of the group BjOrn Borg. He will face Matteo Berrettini (# 8) on Tuesday, before challenging Novak Djokovic (# 2) on Thursday.
This is the fifth time that the six-time winner of the event has lost in the ATP Finals, in 17 participations now. He had undergone Kei Nishikori's law last year for his first match, which did not stop him from reaching the last four for the … 15th time.
But the situation is not quite the same. Roger Federer will have to get his ticket for semifinalist Thursday against Novak Djokovic, who would certainly take pleasure in putting his rival Basel offside. And he will already have no right to the mistake Tuesday against the "rookie" Matteo Berrettini.
The man in the 20 Grand Slam titles, who had successively defeated … Dominic Thiem and Kevin Anderson to clinch his qualification last year, also missed his business Sunday night. Unable to take the trade on his own, he too often suffered the onslaught of a very aggressive Dominic Thiem.
In a day without, Roger Federer has never seemed able to turn the tide. Even when he got a break point at 2-1 in the second set. Dominic Thiem erased it with panache, and took advantage of a further decline of the Basel regime to make the difference at 5-5 by signing a break "white".
Roger Federer has certainly benefited from two new breakpoints in the final game of this game. But Dominic Thiem has also managed to hold his guard, despite some nervousness. The Austrian was able to conclude on his second match point, offering his third win of the year in three duels against the Master.
The example of 2007
Nothing is lost for Roger Federer, who however won the Masters title only once, having lost his first match in 2007. He then suffered the law of Fernando Gonzalez, conceding his first defeat in the round Robin after his 15 wins in his first five participations.