Federer enters his 16th semifinal at ATP Finals

Roger Federer beat Marin Cilic in this year’s Australian Open final

After cancelling his training session a day earlier, Federer produced a much-improved performance to get his campaign for a seventh ATP Finals title back on track with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Dominic Thiem on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old was crystal clear that he'd rather focus on the ATP Finals, where he's set to play an undefeated Kevin Anderson in his final round-robin match on Thursday.

Federer faces a London rematch with Kevin Anderson (2-0) Thursday, five months after the South African saved a match point and overturned a two-set deficit to down the Swiss in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

Thiem's slim hopes of staying in the tournament disappeared when Federer saved three break points on his way to taking the first set, and he wrapped up victory in an hour and 16 minutes in his first meeting with Anderson since the 6ft 8in big-server beat him in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Having struggled in an opening loss to Nishikori and relied mainly on his serve when defeating Thiem, Federer finally found some timing with his ground-strokes to apply consistent pressure on Anderson's serve.

Federer lost an opportunity to reach the milestone at Paris Masters earlier this month as he was ousted by world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-final.

Frenchman Julien Benneteau caused a stir during an interview on French radio station RMC Sport on Sunday in which he said tournament referees were often kinder to Federer when it came to scheduling his matches.

"I wanted to do it for myself and for all the spectators to show my real self today basically and it was way better". Sometimes I get asked, "do you want to play day or night?' Sometimes they go ask the agent. I won't let that get in my head", he said.

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The Swiss was looking sharp on serve and although Thiem cracked a backhand victor, Federer would close out the game and set with an ace, the third consecutive service game he fired an ace to take the game. Dominic had more errors than winners as well but he did more than enough to secure the triumph, serving well in the second set and crossing the finish line with a single break of serve.

"I just felt I returned really well, made him hit a lot of shots off his serve". "I don't feel like I need to comment on this".

"I get asked, would you like to play Monday or Tuesday sometimes".

"I held serve well, I backed it up from the baseline, I played very solid and didn't give him many chances".

"I'll do the same tomorrow because it worked", Federer said of deciding not to practise on Monday.

Roger Federer has completed an improbable comeback to top his group and advance to a 15th semi-final at the ATP Finals.

World number one Novak Djokovic now tops the group but Marin Cilic, Alexander Zverev and John Isner can all still qualify on Friday.

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