(November 7, 2013) LONDON – Roger Federer got his first round-robin stage win on the board on Thursday afternoon, after defeating Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-3 at the ATP World Tour Finals in London. The win keeps his hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals here alive but it is still all to play for at the top of the group.
Federer, who is seeded sixth in London dispatched the Frenchman in just 79 minutes, in a match where he took the advantage early twice and Gasquet never really looked on terms to stay with the Swiss.
Gasquet remained so far back on the court that Federer was able to catch him out time and again at the net and with drop shots, as the Frenchman just looked to be slightly slower today.
If there were any jitters, perhaps they became more evident when it took Federer six attempts to close out the match, and with Gasquet still to face the defending champion Novak Djokovic, it is safe to assume that the Frenchman will not be in contention on Saturday’s final round-robin leg.
He said: “I’m taking a lot of experience playing this Masters because the level is very high, very difficult. So I need to improve on my game to play these guys.”
After the match, Federer admitted that it perhaps was not as easy a win as the score would suggest:
“Richard does a good job of making you feel uncomfortable at the same time as well because he uses heights, spins really well. He likes extended rallies [and] I’m trying to force the issue.”
“I think today was just a battle for myself, making sure I move the right way, I play the right way, I have the right shot selection. Maybe also just getting used to the conditions a little bit.”
Federer is making his twelfth appearance at the season-ending championships and has only failed to advance out of the round-robin stages once.
Tennis Panorama News is in London covering the ATP World Tour Finals. Follow our twitter updates from the tournament @TennisNewsTPN.