ATP World Tour Finals: Federer v Gasquet as it happened

Roger Federer beats Richard Gasquet to keep alive his hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals at the World Tour Finals.

7 November 2013 Last updated at 15:56

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As it happened

  1. 1550: 
    Tennis fans at the O2

    Victory keeps alive Federer's hopes of progressing to the semi-finals, while Gasquet, always the underdog, will now have the weekend off to do whatever he wants - that's what days off are for. It's time to wrap things up for this afternoon, but there will be more live text commentary at about 20:00 GMT for Novak Djokovic versus Juan Martin Del Potro. Enjoy the next few hours and see you later.

    Tim Henman, Former British number one and BBC Sport expert

    "If Federer can be a bit more disciplined mentally and cut out the unforced errors, he can cause trouble for anyone. When you reflect on his past decades, he has made the sport look ridiculously easy. When it is not going so right for him, he needs to go back to basics. He has the best forehand in the game and needs to use it and when he does that in training it will come in his game and make life difficult for his opponent."

    Andrew Castle, Former British number one and BBC TV commentator

    "What is captivating is watching the best player our sport has probably seen having new challenges of facing the likes of Djokovic, Nadal and Murray. You wonder if he can get back in among those and back in the top three again."

  4. 1542: 

    Roger Federer: "I am happy to be back and clearly love playing here in London. I have so many good memories from Wimbledon and at the O2. Richard has incredible playing style and beautiful shot-making and losing the first match put more pressure on us.

    "It is a big win for me and hopefully I can keep it up in the next match against Juan Martin Del Potro. There is a lot to play for. There are a lot of calculations going on in a three-way race, so hopefully it won't be that close this time."

  5. 1541: 

    There are beads of sweat on Federer's forehead as he talks on court about the delights of victory, being named humanitarian of the year and the fans' favourite. Victory always seemed to be his, although he made a number of errors - 30 to be precise. Those 29 winners, some of them snazzy drop-shots and stupendous volleys, saw him through.

    GAME, SET AND MATCH- Federer 6-4 6-3 Gasquet
    Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud takes a photo

    Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has managed to get tickets for this match and has brought two friends with him. The trio have been giggling and taking pictures of themselves (selfies, I should say, just to sound modern). If they're not careful they'll miss Federer squandering match point with a forehand into the tape. Second match point comes Federer's way - once again, however, his forehand malfunctions. A tut from Mrs Federer, or at least a groan. Third match point and a third Federer error - backhand long this time. Fourth match point... Federer nets a backhand. The former world number one surely isn't nervous? Fifth match point. Backhand. Net. chance gone. Sixth match point. Gasquet, this time, fails to negotiate the barrier and victory is Federer's.

    Federer 6-4 5-3 Gasquet*

    An anguished groan from Gasquet as he stretches every sinew in a forlorn attempt to retrieve a Federer forehand. The 27-year-old is again sent dashing hither and tither by the Swiss, only this time Gasquet, at full stretch, produces a sizzling backhand winner down the line. The Frenchman showing plenty of grit, he goes on to earn a break point... Federer seems frazzled... Gasquet is at the net, the court at his mercy, but Federer is allowed to pounce on a tame volley and beats the Frenchman with a desperate but lethal lob.

    *Federer 6-4 4-3 Gasquet

    At 15-30 Federer has a sniff, but Gasquet floats towards the net and gets the better of Federer with a deep volley into the corner. A couple of Federer errors later and the Frenchman is guzzling some water, attempting to come up with a way to put a roadblock in Federer's path.


    Dunks: Don't you think the final should be best of 5 sets? It's worth 1500 points!

    Miles Maclagan, Andy Murray's former coach on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "The next to win a Grand Slam could be Tomas Berdych. He has played some great tennis but has the issue of getting past three of the top four, but my tip would be Milos Raonic. I like his attitude, a mature approach to his game and realised in the last year he needs to adjust and take some risks."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

    Federer 6-4 4-2 Gasquet*

    Federer eager to step in from the baseline as often as possible, but he's showing signs of weakness in this game. A crunching forehand is fractionally wide, then another forehand goes all catawampus and before we know it Gasquet has a break point. The Frenchman, though, doesn't cut an intimidating figure in such positions and Federer, inevitably it seems, saves to leave Gasquet with the tame statistic of having squandered four of his five break points.

    *Federer 6-4 3-2 Gasquet

    A Federer forehand into the tape and Gasquet strides to his chair for the changeover with a hold to 15 in the bag. It ain't over yet.


    Gill Taylor: Watching backhand wars with Federer & Gasquet... Roger still looks formidable to me.

    Federer 6-4 3-1 Gasquet*
    Richard Gasquet

    From 0-30 to 30-30 and all looks well in Federer's world, but his forehand then drifts into the tramlines and Gasquet has break point. The Frenchman, though, seems to have the killer instinct of a dormouse. An ace comes to Federer's rescue, a super backhand winner has the crowd whooping but, hang on, it seems Gasquet has some fight left in him. The eighth seed bags a break point with a stylish winner, though Federer makes a mockery of such pressure with a cute drop-shot. To advantage Federer goes, a dodgy backhand from Gasquet and Federer rumbles on.

    *Federer 6-4 2-1 Gasquet

    Federer leaps for an overhead backhand volley - gasps from those in London - Gasquet sprints after it and whacks the ball back over the net... The brick-like Federer, though, serenely thunders back a winning forehand. A sublime drop-shot follows and it's break point Federer. Gasquet reins his opponent to deuce. Federer nets a backhand. Advantage Gasquet and he gets over the line.

    Federer 6-4 2-0 Gasquet*
    Roger Federer returns

    A yee-hawingly good rally. Gasquet retrieves a beautiful Federer backhand, but the six-time champion somehow has oodles of time to simply conjure an irretrievable volley. Federer holds. Break consolidated. Simples.

    FEDERER BREAKS- *Federer 6-4 1-0 Gasquet

    As some music they call pop was blasted around the arena I took the time to do some research. Well, I read sheets of paper in front of me. Anyway... what I was going to say is that Federer has never lost back-to-back round-robin matches. Three break points for the Swiss... the two rivals tango at the net Federer, Gasquet fails to keep his volley in play and the Swiss secures the early break.

    Miles Maclagan, Andy Murray's former coach, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "History would suggest the second set will go the same way. It was an unusual first game, almost as though Federer hadn't warmed up and we have seen some brilliance and some sloppy play. Gasquet has won two matches to Federer's 10 in their meetings and the Frenchman has had the successes on slower surfaces. It has been quite clear from the start that Federer is pouncing on anything short and the plan has worked so far for the Swiss man."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

    GAME AND FIRST SET- Federer 6-4 Gasquet*

    Another delightful drop-shot followed by a rasping ace eases Federer to 40-0. Gasquet then returns long and after 35 minutes the man from Switzerland is on the up. Fourteen winners from Federer's potent racquet, although he has also made 14 unforced errors.

    Tim Henman, Former British number one and BBC Sport expert

    "It's not rocket science. Roger makes the game look ridiculously easy but certainly in the last five or six months the unforced errors have crept in and he needs to find the balance between playing conservatively and keeping the ball in and playing aggressively to win the points. No errors there from Federer and he won the game."

    Miles Maclagan, Andy Murray's former coach, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "That's a blow for Gasquet. Federer almost handed him his service game but the Swiss will be relieved and looking to assert his authority in this match."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

    FEDERER BREAKS- *Federer 5-4 Gasquet
    Roger Federer

    From despair to delight as a faultless Federer earns two break points. He then proceeds to get Gasquet involved in a baseline rally and, for Federer at least, it's a satisfactory conclusion as Gasquet launches a forehand into orbit.

    Miles Maclagan, Andy Murray's former coach, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "A poor game from Federer. Double-fault, a forehand and two backhand errors so it was all on his racquet."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

    GASQUET BREAKS- Federer 4-4 Gasquet*

    A lone voice in the crowd warbles "Rogeeeer!" in a bid to encourage his man, Federer's fans sensing danger as Gasquet nudges ahead to 0-30. An ace brings Federer back into contention, though, but he then meekly allows Gasquet to grab two break points. Ace. Nerves still linger, though. Gasquet approaches the net, backhand wide... how will Federer respond? He drags a backhand into the tramlines.

    Miles Maclagan, Andy Murray's former coach, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Federer was stuttering in his first game but there's a lot for him to be pleased about since then. He wants to put the forehand into play when Gasquet plays it short, like a laser-guided missile."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbctennis

    Steve Parker: Best single-handed backhand in men's tennis ever? Simple: Gustavo "Guga" Kuerten.

    CSM: Roger Federer's one-handed backhand is easily the most aesthetic sporting movement in the world.

    Midas: After yesterday I'd have to say it's a tie between Wawrinka and Gasquet.

    *Federer 4-3 Gasquet

    Both players gliding around the cobalt court, adding a touch of razzle-dazzle with exhibition-style shots. A winning forehand from Gasquet has the crowd purring, then Federer ups the ante - pouncing towards the tape like a panther and conjuring a thunderous overhead winner. Gasquet, though, comes out on top as the game ends when Federer plonks the ball into the tape.

    Federer 4-2 Gasquet*

    Forehand winner down the line. A Gasquet return then goes out of bounds. A delightful winning volley bounces on the line and in merely 77 seconds Federer secures a hold to love.

    Miles Maclagan, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "I wonder how long Federer will be happy at six or seven in the world. That is not what he plays for and a lot of people are not too sure about him but they don't count."

    *Federer 3-2 Gasquet

    Gasquet has faced Federer on hard courts on five previous occasions and has yet to experience the joy of victory. He showed against Juan Martin del Potro on Monday, however, that he has these days got some spit in his eye.

    Gasquet, at 40-15, is in control - that beautiful backhand sends Federer scampering towards the tramline, the Frenchman has his man in a tizz, but follows up with a lame backhand volley. Gasquet, though, recovers from that minor blip.

    Federer 3-1 Gasquet*

    A punchy backhand volley from Federer eases him to 30-0 and the crowd can't help but applaud in admiration. A ripple of applause once more as the 17-time Grand Slam champion outwits Gasquet with a cheeky backhand drop shot. Bravo! A Gasquet return bounces then beyond the baseline and that's Federer's game.

    Tim Henman, Former British number one and BBC Sport expert

    "Federer needs to play with patience but purpose, keeping Gasquet moving and not letting him settle."

    GET INVOLVED- #bbctennis

    We asked you who has the best one-handed backhand in tennis. Here are your thoughts:

    Folabomi Amoo: There's absolutely no doubt at all that Federer's one handed backhand is the best there is now, and also the best ever.

    Manish T: Wawrinka has the best one-handed backhand both in elegance and power. It's a beauty.

    Yuones Laghzali: Richard Gasquet's backhand is the most beautiful shot in tennis.

    FEDERER BREAKS- *Federer 2-1 Gasquet

    Gasquet hand in pocket, a picture of nonchalance, as he ambles towards the baseline to launch some serves. Both slugging it out from the baseline, but Federer drags a forehand wide - his seventh unforced error of the match - to allow Gasquet to level at 30-30. The Swiss then dazzles the crowd - ooh they say - as the former champion stoops to place a backhand volley beyond Gasquet for break point. Gasquet then crumbles, netting a simple backhand. First blow Federer.

    Federer 1-1 Gasquet*

    Federer, of course, lost to Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-7 6-2 in his opening match of this tournament - and you may have already read that that was the first opening round-robin match Federer had lost since 2008.

    Sloppy play from Federer as Gasquet skips 0-30 ahead, but the sixth seed drags himself back to 30-30 and moves a point away from a hold by stepping in and delicately placing a volley beyond Gasquet. Oof! Gasquet responds with a stonking backhand winner for deuce, but Federer wriggles free - wrapping up the game with a forehand winner which kisses the baseline.

    *Federer 0-1 Gasquet

    Here we go then. A comfortable opening for the Frenchman as Federer nets a return which allows Federer to proceed to 40-0. The former champion then plonks a backhand return into the tape to present Gasquet with a simple hold to love.

  37. 1411: 

    Roger Federer has every reason to be confident ahead of his battle with Richard Gasquet simply because the six-time champion has yet to lose against the Frenchman on hard courts. In fact, he has only lost twice to the eighth seed in 12 encounters.

    Miles Maclagan, Andy Murray's former coach on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "If Federer gives the slightest chink of light that he's struggling and he's given a thought to what he'll do after tennis, then every interview or press conference after a defeat will get exceedingly tiresome for him."

    Listen to full commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  39. 1409: 

    I've been told to ask you a burning question, but that sounded too painful so I'll just ask a simple question (no burns, no stings): Which men's tennis player has the best one-handed backhand in the modern game? Share your views using #bbctennis or comment on the BBC Sport Facebook page. Thanking you in advance.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at the 02 in London

    "Good afternoon, and welcome to your daily dose of incomprehensible qualification scenarios at the O2 Arena. Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro both have the opportunity to qualify for the semi-finals with a straight-sets win when they meet at 2000 GMT. Djokovic will also progress if he wins in three and Roger Federer beats Richard Gasquet this afternoon. Del Potro will go through if he wins in three and Gasquet beats Federer. It really couldn't be simpler."

  41. 1405: 
    Roger Federer

    All four men are in Group B and Roger Federer is currently bottom of the pack, though he doesn't seem too concerned as he strides through the dry ice and into the darkened arena.

    Roger Federer (SUI) v Richard Gasquet (FRA)

    Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)

  42. 1403: 

    Hello! Welcome to this afternoon's live text coverage of the ATP Tour Finals. Thank you for joining us. Competing in the Big Smoke today will be humanitarian of the year Roger Federer, coy Frenchman Richard Gasquet, second seed Novak Djokovic and the big friendly giant Juan Martin del Potro. Good, huh?

  43. 1400: 

    There's no hope of ending the year as world number one, the man known as the best on the planet seems unbeatable and those holiday pina coladas are within sipping distance so what's the point lunging from tramline to tramline? Ah, well, there's the love of the game - and a pot full of cash just in time for Christmas.

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