The 2018 Nitto ATP Finals is up and running at the O2 Arena in London. The first day delivered a shocking result as Roger Federer lost in straight sets to an in-form Kei Nishikori. In what was the match that capped the first day of the event, Federer saw himself outplayed in almost every chapter.

Regarded as a heavy favorite of the Round Robin stage, Federer must win the next match in order to keep the 100th title dream alive. He will face Dominic Thiem next, and the Austrian will have nothing to lose after being dispatched by the 32-year-old debutant Kevin Anderson.

What remains from yesterday's session is the general perception that Roger Federer was off for most of the match. According to ESPN, it was the first time that Federer lost an ATP Finals Round Robin match in straight sets.

Roger Federer played below standard, Anderson confirms good form

Judging by their latest encounters, it seemed that Federer picked the winning straw. But Nishikori made no mistake and took advantage of every single gift that came off Roger Federer's racket. Unable to enforce control of the match using his serve, Federer quickly saw himself dragged in a trap. With Nishikori strong on the return side, Federer made a ton of unforced errors that, in the end, left him to dry out in the sun.

According to, Roger Federer ended the match with 34 unforced errors on his side and only 19 winners. On the other side, Nishikori made only 22 unforced errors and had a total of 6 winning shots. Maybe he just wanted too much from this match, but Federer should have kept it together much better. Now, from a heavy favorite, he will be playing his fate in the next session.

A potential victory over Dominic Thiem might not cast away the storm as Kevin Anderson looms for the final rubber of the group stages. The South African looked very composed in the opening match and his Tennis output seems to be fueled by an increased level of maturity. That makes his next match against Kei Nishikori a must-see one.

Roger Federer's bid for the 100th title

While a straight sets defeat is a hard one to digest, Roger Federer still has a chance to bounce back. That's the beauty of this competing format. A couple of weeks ago he capped the 99th ATP title after an intense final in the Swiss Indoors in Basel. He next went to Paris-Bercy where he narrowly lost a three-set thriller to Novak Djokovic.

The 2018 Nitto ATP Finals is the final point of the year and a place where he traditionally makes a good impression. He is a six-time titlist out of a total of ten finals played.

As his schedule shrinks with each year that passes by, every tournament which he attends should be a celebration. As a guy who has been playing his heart out for almost two decades, Roger Federer deserves that 100th title to land in his pocket. Let's see if the tennis gods will allow this to happen.