Federer back on track with victory over Gasquet

Thu Nov 7, 2013 3:51pm EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - A razor-sharp Roger Federer got back to winning ways at the ATP World Tour Finals with a 6-4 6-3 defeat of Frenchman Richard Gasquet on Thursday to keep alive his last-four chances.

Under pressure after losing to title favorite Novak Djokovic in his opening Group B match, the six-times former champion looked much more like his old, majestic self as he extended his career record over Gasquet to 11-2.

There were still the kind of lapses that have hampered the Swiss during a fallow season and nerves at the end when Gasquet saved five match points but Federer wrapped up victory and will face Juan Martin del Potro on Saturday with high hopes.

"I guess those are the kind of matches I need right now. You know, straight sets against a good player. It clearly came at the right time right now," Federer, who has only one title this year but collected the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year award, as well as the ATP fans' favorite and Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award this week, told reporters.

"Richard has an incredible playing style and is a dangerous shot-maker," Federer, who qualified for the year-ending showdown for the 12th consecutive year, said on court.

"There was pressure after losing my first one. It was a big win for me and I hope now to keep it up against Juan Martin."

Federer played with far more authority than he did against Djokovic and believes his victory over del Potro in the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters was an important one.

"That win for me in Paris psychologically was very important," he said. "It showed I could beat top 10 guys, I beat Richard, I beat Juan Martin last week."   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return during his men's singles tennis match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London November 5, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett