Roger Federer earned a place in the semifinals of the Paris Masters with a 6/4, 6/3 victory over Kevin Anderson to top the Lleyton Hewitt Group of the round robin.
Despite the loss, Anderson is also through to the last four. The duo won an equal number of two matches, with one loss.
Although they both won four sets and lost two, Federer topped the group with his victory and just one game more than Anderson.
Anderson lost his serve in the opening game of the first serve, marking his first loss of serve in the tournament. However, Federer returned the favour by dropping the second game.
Serving at 3-4, Federer lost the first two points for 0-30, and Anderson lost the opportunity to reach 5-3, as his opponent won four straight points to level.
Anderson lost the second point with a double fault and proceeded to concede the break, enabling Federer to serve out the set 6-4.
In the second set, Federer broke Anderson’s serve and maintained the advantage by holding serve for the rest of the match.
At 3-5, Anderson needed to hold but he fell behind 15-30 when a sliced shot by Federer was netted and on the next rally, he faced two match points at 15-40. He saved them by reaching deuce.
However, on the third match-point, Federer returned an Anderson serve with a backhand slice and Anderson netted a forehand to end the match.
The victory kept alive Federer’s quest for his 100th title and was considered retaliation for his loss to Anderson in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships, that ended in a marathon 2/6, 6/7 (5), 7/5, 6/4, and 13/11.
It was the only time that the South African had defeated Federer in their five career encounters, which started in the 2013 Paris Masters.