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ROGER & OUT

Roger Federer in danger of early ATP Finals exit after Dominic Thiem defeat in Alps Derby

Roger Federer is facing an early exit from the ATP Finals after losing his opening match last night.

The Swiss superstar was beaten 7-5 7-5 by Austrian Dominic Thiem in the tennis Alps Derby on the opening night at the O2 Arena in London..

 Roger Federer has to win his next two matches to stand any chance of progressing to the semi-finals
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Roger Federer has to win his next two matches to stand any chance of progressing to the semi-finalsCredit: AP:Associated Press
 The Swiss maestro has only once failed to get out of the group of the ATP's flagship event
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The Swiss maestro has only once failed to get out of the group of the ATP's flagship eventCredit: AFP or licensors

It was the fifth time in 17 appearances Fed had lost his opening match of the season-ending tournament.

And it means if he loses his next match against Italian Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday then he could miss the semi-finals for just the second time.

Thiem, the French Open finalist, was impressive and aggressive in his approach and crucially broke in the 11th game of both sets to savour a famous triumph.

It was the fifth time he had beaten Federer and incredibly the third time in 2019.

Thiem said: “It was a great performance. My first opening win at the finals.

“Every single time, it’s overwhelming and breath-taking to enter this arena, especially when it is packed.

 Thiem reached the final of the French Open and has a positive head-to-head record against Federer
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Thiem reached the final of the French Open and has a positive head-to-head record against FedererCredit: Reuters
 The Austrian will now play Novak Djokovic on Tuesday as they battle for promotion from the Bjorn Borg Group
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The Austrian will now play Novak Djokovic on Tuesday as they battle for promotion from the Bjorn Borg GroupCredit: PA:Press Association

“It was a good , close match. It’s special to beat Roger, a legend. I love playing him, I learn so much.

“It’s amazing to play against the best player of all time, a real legend like that. Luckily I have a good record against him and try to stay positive in this head-to-head all the time.

“The games where I have to serve out it’s always a struggle
“You don’t get any presents from him. He puts in all the returns. There are nerves. Not every day you are playing here in this arena against Roger and I am pleased I pulled through.”

The 26-year-old, ranked number five in the world, will face Novak Djokovic on Tuesday as they battle for promotion from the Bjorn Borg Group.

 John Bercow, who recently stood down as the Speaker of the Houses of Parliament, is a big Roger Federer fan and was courtside at the O2 Arena
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John Bercow, who recently stood down as the Speaker of the Houses of Parliament, is a big Roger Federer fan and was courtside at the O2 ArenaCredit: AFP or licensors
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