18 November, 2018
"That's amongst the matches best I've played", said Anderson, who was beaten by Djokovic in this year's Wimbledon final.
It was the best possible start for the better-ranked player who lost just three points on serve in the opener to mount the pressure on the other side of the net, scoring a break in the second game after a backhand error from Kei.
First up on court, it was Kei Nishikori, who took on Kevin Anderson for a third tournament in a row and it was the big man from South Africa, who took some sweet revenge of his defeat in Paris, with a scintillating 6-0, 6-1 win, to seal his second consecutive victory at the Nitto ATP Finals.
With no pace or energy in his shots, Nishikori netted an easy forehand in the fourth game to lose serve again and he squandered three game points in game six to suffer the third straight break after a return victor from Anderson who was 6-0 up after just 31 minutes.
Japanese world number nine Nishikori was on cloud nine after stunning Roger Federer in their opening round-robin match on Sunday, but he was brought crashing back down to earth by 02 debutant Anderson.
He will face South African Kevin Anderson in his final match in the Lleyton Hewitt group on Friday.
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It was a landmark moment for Anderson, who has set a new career-high of 47 victories in a calender year.
And he didn't take long to seize the initiative as he broke Nishikori in the second game of the match.
That lone flop came 10 years ago when the Finals were held in Shanghai and Federer is still in with a chance of avoiding that ignominious fate thanks to his comfortable 66-minute dismissal of Thiem. I think we both did.
Anderson was dominant on his serve throughout, winning 12 out of his 15 service points in a one-sided first set.
Federer, a six-time victor of this tournament, suffered a shocking loss to Kei Nishikori on Sunday. Sometimes I get asked, "do you want to play day or night?' Sometimes they go ask the agent".
It's also no exaggeration to say that if Anderson performs as he did against Nishikori on Tuesday, then he can beat Federer in this form.
Federer will likely have to avenge his Wimbledon loss this year to Anderson to reach the semi-finals, although all four players in the group could still mathematically progress.