Roger Federer is aiming to complete a century of titles at the ATP Finals but will likely have to find a way past the irrepressible Novak Djokovic, who is looking to round off his astonishing season in style. His fans perceived it to be the 37-year-old's humility.
Anderson's groundstrokes were nearly as impressive as his serve, particularly in the first set, and drew a series of errors from Thiem in the fourth game, which resulted in the crucial break.
"I felt we both struggled, you know, throughout the first set", he said.
The first match of the Finals will take place between Anderson and Thiem before Federer locks horns with Nishikori later at night. Overall I thought I'm hitting the ball OK. "I wasn't. Now I'm angry because I lost", Federer, who will face Thiem on Tuesday in a match he will need to win to revive his hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the event for a 15th time.
"I'm satisfied, of course (with this week)", said Djokovic in the post-match press conference in Paris last Sunday.
"I think maybe we both had a bit of nerves, too, not knowing how to attack second serve. I'm ready to go again now", the world number five told reporters ahead of the tournament involving the eight best male players of the year - minus the injured Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro.More news: Pompeo's meeting with North Koreans postponed
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"Unfortunately I couldn't keep the lead that I got early (in the second set),"Federer said".
Anderson, who saved a match point before knocking Federer out in the Wimbledon quarterfinals in July, once more displayed his ability to thrive under pressure.
The incident seemed to unsettle his game - not to mention the comfort of his adoring audience - and he went on to lose the tie-break, the set and the match.
Zverev, 21, has been touted about as one of the leaders of the new generation and has won three Masters titles in his short career but he has flattered to deceive at the Grand Slams. Amazingly, it was the first time in 46 round-robin outings at the ATP Finals that he had failed to win a set.
Concluding the ATP World Tour, the competition only features the world's best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams.
Anderson wrapped up the set on serve at 5-3 but Thiem came out striking the ball with more aggression in the second set and improved his serving percentage to such an extent that he conceded only two of 25 points after landing his first delivery. They haven't played since 2016.