Federer faces early ATP Finals exit after losing to Dominic Thiem

Roger Federer faces an uphill task to qualify for the last four of the ATP Finals, after a 7-5, 7-5 defeat by Dominic Thiem yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Federer will meet Novak Djokovic later in the week in a repeat of this year's epic Wimbledon final, with two players advancing from the four-man group.

"I thought Dominic saved himself real well when he had to," said Federer. "So I thought he played a tough first-round performance today, and my game was probably just not good enough, and the start didn't help.

"It's a normal tournament from here on forward. Not allowed to lose any more for me.

"That's how it is every week of the year for the last 20 years."

Earlier, Djokovic began his quest for a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title and sixth year-end No. 1 spot with a 6-2, 6-1 romp over Matteo Berrettini.

The Serb was last week nudged off the top position in the rankings by Rafael Nadal, who is also in the eight-man field in London. - AFP