In the last match of the round-robin stage at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals 2013 eighth-seeded Richard Gasquet took on defending champion Novak Djokovic who had already qualified for the semi-finals and would finish top of Group B irrespective of today’s result. The second seed Serb was holding an almost spotless 10-1 head-to-head record against the Frenchman prior to the encounter.
Nole got off to a flying start by stealing the Frenchman’s serve in the initial game and confirmed it confidently. Both players then held their service games in a dominant fashion until 5-3 when Gasquet suddenly earned a triple break-back point and stayed in the set by converting the second one. A tie-break lottery would follow a few minutes later at the O2 Arena with Djokovic snatching the first mini-break and eventually preparing a double set point. He wasted the one on his serve, but then outsmarted the rival in the follow-up rally which he closed out with a smash to make it one set to love.
He did not generate any break point chances in the set number two, whilst Gasquet capitalized on his single one in the third game which allowed him to capture his second set at the tournament and square things up against Novak this evening. However, the Serb would not let his perfect winning record in London be spoiled and was quickly out of the blocks in the decider where he raced to a 3-0 lead. The French number one prevented Nole going two breaks up, but failed to turn the tide and Djokovic had a triple match point in his hands at 5-3 – he sealed a 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3 victory by hitting an ace down the middle, his sixth one of the day. He thus stayed in contest for his third ATP World Tour Finals title and will now confront seventh seed Stan Wawrinka in Sunday evening’s semi-final.