ATP World Tour Finals: Djokovic v Gasquet as it happened

Live text commentary as Novak Djokovic beats Richard Gasquet to finish the group stage with a 100% record at the World Tour Finals.

9 November 2013 Last updated at 22:19

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As it happened

  1. 2217: 

    Being as Djokovic is planning on a quick exit and whizzing it up the Thames, then we might as well stop typing and switch off the lights. There will be more of the same tomorrow, with live text commentary of the two semi-finals. The first - Rafael Nadal's ding-dong versus Roger Federer - starts at 1400 GMT and will be live on BBC Two, but until then cheerio.

  2.   
    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at the 02 in London

    "The word is that Djokovic will only be doing the briefest of media duties tonight as he's clearly keen to head back to his central London hotel and get some rest ahead of tomorrow evening's semi-final. Or maybe he wants to watch Match of the Day.

    "Either way, he's earned a lie down after giving the crowd their money's worth over the course of two hours and 10 minutes. Eight of this week's 12 round-robin matches went to three sets, and Sunday should raise the drama another notch. Will the world's top two prevail, or will the Swiss fans get their dream final?"

  3. 2211: 

    Novak Djokovic after his victory over Richard Gasquet: "I knew coming into this match that I qualified for the semi-finals, and even though I really wanted to perform at my best Richard came out really aggressive and I didn't move too well. Richard has one of the best backhands on the tour. It was a pleasure to play against him and I wish him all the best."

  4.  
    GAME, SET AND MATCH- Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 6-3 Gasquet

    After two hours and 10 minutes of toil in a game which ebbed and flowed, Djokovic gathers three match points. One chance slips but he secures the victory - and his 70th win of the season - with a brutal ace.

  5.  
    *Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 5-3 Gasquet

    Groans from the sympathetic crowd as Gasquet double fault to open the door at 30-30. The spectators then begin to slow clap, encouraging the Frenchman to tap into his reserves of energy. Gasquet's response? An ace - his 10th of the match - and a sublime forehand winner on Djokovic's return.

  6.  
    Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 5-2 Gasquet*

    Djokovic attempting to overpower Gasquet from the baseline but the Frenchman is refusing to be bullied even at this late a stage. The Serb undercooks a backhand to gift his opponent a point for 30-30. The eighth seed's returning, though, is below par and Djokovic is a game away.

  7.  
    *Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 4-2 Gasquet
    Novak Djokovic

    Both players saving some of their best shots for last, Gasquet sprinting to the tape and beating Djokovic with a crisp passing shot. Backhand return from Djokovic sails long and Gasquet is clinging on, a hold to 15, even though the majority are already talking about his inevitable demise.

  8.  
    Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 4-1 Gasquet*

    Djokovic timing his push to the line to perfection and a hold to 15 edges him closer to victory.

  9.  
    * Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 3-1 Gasquet

    Another glimpse of the Djokovic of old as he produces two sizzling winners to ease to 0-30. The Serb has woken from his slumber and is slowly coming out of his shell as this third set progresses. But he squanders two break points and the game rumbles to deuce thanks to a Gasquet ace. Djokovic's returning then lets him down and Gasquet is off the hook.

  10.  
    Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 3-0 Gasquet*

    Djokovic trudges back to his chair like a sulky teenager after holding to 30, giving the impression that he'd rather be anywhere other than on the court.

  11.  
    DJOKOVIC BREAKS- *Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 2-0 Gasquet

    A graphic on the television screen flashes to indicate that Djokovic had made 38 unforced errors before the start of this game and that is a hefty number for someone who usually performs with such panache. A glimmer of the old Djokovic as he beats Gasquet at the net and then returns brilliantly to force the boy from Beziers to screw a forehand wide and concede two break points. Gasquet saves one but can do little to prevent Djokovic from leaping ahead, a forehand into the tape acting like the proverbial white flag.

  12.   
    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at the 02 in London

    "'Go on, son!'" shouts someone not very French as Gasquet levels things up, and the locals have got right behind the underdog tonight. The refreshment vendors are probably quite pleased too as most people seem to be refuelling for the final set. And not with isotonic sports drinks."

  13.  
    Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 1-0 Gasquet*

    Djokovic, of course, is already through to the semi-finals but if he has any desire to remain unbeaten in this tournament he must become more intense, increase the tempo from the baseline. The Serb seems subdued, although he does enough to hold - a brilliant crosscourt forehand winner ending the game in his favour.

  14.  
    GAME AND SECOND SET- *Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 Gasquet

    That's it. We're into a decider and the crowd obviously don't have anything better to do with their Saturday night because they cheer jubilantly as an ace out to the wings secures the second set for Gasquet. The Frenchman can smell that £89,000 bonus.

    Novak Djokovic shows his frustration
  15.  
    Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 4-5 Gasquet*

    The defending champion looks to be in trouble once again as he slips to 0-30, but he claws his way back - a drop backhand volley bringing him back into contention at 30-30. But to deuce we progress where a wild forehand from Gasquet followed by a wacky backhand return is music to Djokovic's ears.

  16.  
    *Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 3-5 Gasquet

    Oh la la! A drop-shot from Gasquet... Djokovic pounces like a panther... but the Frenchman, having developed a killer's instinct somewhere along the way, passes Djokovic with a looping forehand which kisses the tramline. That was the highlight of an impressive game from Gasquet who is galloping down the home straight.

  17.  
    GET INVOLVED- Roger v Rafa: Who will win?

    Spaghetti Hans: Nadal has never won this title while Federer has won it a record 6 times. Federer will use those positive memories and win 6-3 7-6.

    Stewart Mills: The Federer back where he belongs, playing semis against the likes of Nadal... watch out tomorrow and watch out in 2014!

    Sean Done: If anyone has watched their 3 meetings this year, it is almost certain Nadal will win. Federer can't match his intensity anymore.

  18.  
    Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 3-4 Gasquet*

    Statistic proving that Gasquet is hitting more winners from the baseline than his opponent and although the Frenchman has his opponent in a noose at deuce, he lets the Serb wriggle free with a couple of tame errors on the forehand.

  19.  
    *Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 2-4 Gasquet

    Gasquet serving and volleying with aplomb to go 30-0 up. The Djokovic backhand malfunctioning for a 40-0 lead, but the Gasquet first serve failing to fire and we skip from 40-0 to deuce. A Djokovic forehand long. Cheers from the spectators, clearly eager to get their moneys worth. But, when his back is against the wall, the Frenchman's first serve comes back to life and he bullets down an ace.

  20.   
    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at the 02 in London

    "There's plenty of support for Gasquet as the Saturday night crowd fancy a three-setter for their troubles, and the Frenchman is up for the task right now. It might be vulgar to mention money, and it's all about the glory of course, but there is £89,000 on offer for every win this week."

  21.  
    Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 2-3 Gasquet*

    An overhead volley followed by an ace - his third of the match - sees Djokovic progress to 40-30. A Gasquet forehand bounces long and the Serb is hanging onto the Frenchman's coattails.

    Novak Djokovic serves
  22.  
    *Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 1-3 Gasquet

    Djokovic scoots along the baseline to fetch a forehand into the corner but is then undone by another cannon of a forehand down the other end. But the Frenchman is reined in to deuce and another nervy baseline battle ensues. Once again, however, there's an unusual sight of Djokovic directing a forehand into the tramlines. The Serb coughing and spluttering on the vital points. A neat second serve from Gasquet and he's come through another test.

  23.  
    GET INVOLVED- Roger v Rafa: Who will win?

    Daniela Coelho: As unlikely as it may seem, I hope Fed wins tomorrow.

    Smurvis: Federer to beat Nadal in the semi. On this surface it's all him. Djokovic to win the final in straights - the man's winning everything.

    James Slater: Nadal should beat Federer fairly comfortably, but I can see Wawrinka causing an upset against Djokovic in the other semi-final...

  24.  
    GASQUET BREAKS- Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 1-2 Gasquet*

    Gasquet ups the ante at 30-30, a deep backhand volley followed by another fine volley at the net. Djokovic attempts to lob the Frenchman but the ball drops beyond the baseline. Break point. The Serb shows little emotion, which suggests he has the game under control but, indeed, he hasn't as his backhand goes wide and there's a strange silence around the O2, as spectators realise they are first-hand witnesses to the unexpected.

  25.  
    *Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 1-1 Gasquet

    Djokovic asking questions of Gasquet, probing from the baseline, and the Frenchman stutters slightly, ballooning a forehand to let the world number two level to 30-30. But uncharacteristic errors from the Serb, he misses a backhand return on the Gasquet second serve and once again fails to return and the Frenchman is free.

  26.  
    Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) 1-0 Gasquet*
    Novak Djokovic

    At 30-30 Gasquet decides to vary play, dashing to the net in the hope of intimidating his rival but Djokovic is not a man who flinches and he passes the Frenchman with a masterful forehand. The same ploy pays dividends for the eighth seed on the following point, however, with Djokovic faltering and to deuce we go. But Djokovic comes through the test. Nothing to see here.

  27.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Celia on 81111 on text: Well done to Federer. People shouldn't be so critical of this wonderful player and should concentrate on his brilliant career and determination. So great to get to semi-finals and such a gracious man. Good luck tomorrow with Nadal. Both great players and have a respectful of each other.

    Ele in Newcastle on 81111 on text: Rafa has never beaten Roger indoors, and Roger seems to be getting progressively better whilst Rafa's second set against Berdych was a mess - am I the only one hoping for the Return of King Fed?

  28.   
    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at the 02 in London

    "Reports suggest that Gasquet has split with Italian coach Riccardo Piatti in the last 24 hours, which would be an unusual move midway through a tournament, and the Frenchman looked like he'd had enough of London too after that first game. He turned things around, hitting more winners, fewer errors and winning more points heading into the tie-break, but Djokovic just about got over the line. It's tied 36-36 in total points won, quite interestingly."

  29.  
    TIE-BREAK- Djokovic 7-6 (8-6) Gasquet

    Another brutal exchange from the baseline, both players holding on, both attempting to outfox the other and neither really succeeding as Djokovic needlessly falters, his backhand drifting into the tramlines for 2-2.

    A glimpse of impetuosity from Gasquet as he bashes his racquet against his thigh after Djokovic gathers a 5-2 lead, and the Serb collects three set points when a drop volley, full of top spin, bounces on the line. The Serb's feet not dancing in unison this evening, though, as he drags a backhand wide and his lead is reduced but he gets the point he needs on the Gasquet serve. A beautifully crafted point, a backhand into the corner followed by a booming volley.

  30.  
    GET INVOLVED #bbctennis

    Will Roger beat Rafa tomorrow? Here are some of your thoughts on Sunday's first semi-final (which you can watch live on BBC Two and this website):

    Scott Hunt: Rafa will take Federer apart. Roger can't handle the pace of Nadal and Djokovic.

    Rian Hoskins: Nadal is in scintillating form so I predict he will win in a three set thriller against Djokovic.

    Niall Kearns: Federer must do it in two sets as Nadal holds the mental edge - I'm going 6-4 7-6.

  31.  
    Djokovic 6-6 Gasquet*

    Djokovic has won the last 15 sets against Gasquet, so those voices inside the TV tell us, and though there is no real danger of him conceding this opening set yet he has taken his foot off the pedal - making a whopping 14 unforced errors.

    A cute drop-shot followed by a series of brutal forehands earns Djokovic a 40-15 lead and, almost inevitably, we progress to a tie-break, the first tie-break between the pair since 2007.

  32.  
    *Djokovic 5-6 Gasquet
    Richard Gasquet

    Gasquet has collected more points from the baseline than his opponent so far in this match, but at 15-30 the rubber-legged Serb forces the Frenchman into a marathon rally and it is Gasquet who blinks first, pulling a forehand wide to allow his opponent to level. Many would expect the Frenchman to creak at this point, but he holds firm to move ahead for the first time in the match.

  33.  
    GASQUET BREAKs- Djokovic 5-5 Gasquet*

    A deep volley from Gasquet sets Djokovic scampering but the Serb recovers and retrieves, as he always does, but Gasquet responds with another sumptuous volley into the corner. First blow to Gasquet. Oh my, second blow to Gasquet and the Frenchman has the Serb on the ropes - backhand down the line for three break points. The Serb steps towards the net and simply pats a backhand volley to save one but he can't wriggle himself out of this one, volley into the tape and Gasquet lives on!

  34.  
    GET INVOLVED #bbctennis

    Yasir Shah: Rafa will win in three tomorrow and I'm confident he will be able to finish the job off on Monday.

    Rob Porter: It'll be a Nadal/Djokovic final of course, and that could go either way. I'll give it to Nadal.

  35.  
    *Djokovic 5-4 Gasquet

    The 27-year-old Frenchman is not easing up but even though he once again holds comfortably, it's probably a touch too late in this set.

  36.  
    Djokovic 5-3 Gasquet*

    Gasquet has beaten Djokovic just the once in 10 encounters and that victory was back in 2007 when televisions were, admittedly, in colour but in the days before smart phones took over the world so a lot as happened since that straight-sets win in China.

    Novak Djokovic

    Djokovic, on the front foot, performing like a master puppeteer, pulling Gasquet this way and that, before ending the Frenchman's misery with a masterful forehand winner. He hits a serve out to the wings, Gasquet nets, and the world number two is a game away from grabbing the opening set.

  37.  
    *Djokovic 4-3 Gasquet

    Gasquet gliding around the court, he steps in to place a backhand winner beyond his rival and it's another hold to love for the eighth seed.

  38.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Clinton Eyong: Rafael Nadal will lose to Roger Federer in straight sets 3-6 3-6 in the semi-finals of the ATPWorldTourFinals.

    Any more predictions? Tweets us using #bbctennis or text us on 81111 (UK mobiles).

  39.  
    Djokovic 4-2 Gasquet*

    Sometimes, however, a sledgehammer rather than a paintbrush is required and the Frenchman will need to produce some lethal hits if he is to force his way back into this set. Djokovic untroubled on his own serve and the second seed holds to 15.

  40.  
    *Djokovic 3-2 Gasquet

    There is no doubt that Gasquet is an artist and the Frenchman currently creating moments worthy of framing, a sliced backhand, a picture-perfect volley. He holds to love and those early nerves seem to have been settled.

  41.  
    Djokovic 3-1 Gasquet*

    Djokovic getting plenty of success from the baseline, moving the underdog this way and that. At 30-15, he decides to embark on a rare foray to the net which seems to startle the Frenchman and force him to tug at a forehand. The Serb cruising along, windows down and music blaring out of the radio.

  42.  
    *Djokovic 2-1 Gasquet

    Hearty applause for Gasquet as he eases to a 40-0 lead, but the Frenchman double faults and then pushes a volley long. He avoids a drama, though, as Djokovic goes long, allowing his opponent to have at least one notch on the scoreboard.

  43.   
    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at the 02 in London

    "The O2 Arena is still buzzing after Roger Federer's win over Juan Martin Del Potro earlier, and the Swiss is feeling as positive as he has all year. 'I don't know if the goal was necessarily for me to try to win this event right off the first match,' said the Swiss.

    "'I knew I had so much work to do with Djokovic in the first round, having played Basel and Paris. I was curious to see how I was going to adapt, how everybody was going to adapt, to the London conditions. For that reason I'm very pleased now. I feel very happy and very upbeat. I'll give it one more big shot here tomorrow and hopefully I'll make it to the finals'."

  44.  
    Djokovic 2-0 Gasquet*

    Djokovic, you sense, reserving his energy for the more important contests ahead and he comfortably holds to 15, a tame Gasquet return ending the game.

  45. 2002: 
    SUNDAY'S ORDER OF PLAY

    The evening isn't over so there's no need to focus too much on Sunday's semi-finals yet, but the order of play is out so go ahead and plan your day around these tasty treats.

    Rafael Nadal (SPA) v Roger Federer (SWI) 1400 GMT

    Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Stanislas Wawrinka (SWI) 2000 GMT

  46.  
    DJOKOVIC BREAKS- *Djokovic 1-0 Gasquet

    Gasquet stutters and is too slow off the blocks to scoop a volley from his shoe laces, gifting Djokovic two break points. The Serb, ruthless as ever, gobbles up his chance with an overhead.

  47.   
    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at the 02 in London

    "It might be all over as far as the semi-final line-up is concerned but the O2 Arena is as packed as it has been all week, with the world number two up against 'le backhand'. While the focus might be on Sunday's resumption of the Federer v Nadal rivalry, Djokovic has won his last 19 matches and his last seven at this venue, and he will not wish to see that run end tonight. A victory against Gasquet would also see Djokovic rack up 70 wins for the third straight year."

  48. 1957: 
    Novak Djokovic

    Hello! Welcome back for the final match of the group stages of the ATP Tour Finals. Richard Gasquet has yet to win a match and has no hope of reaching the semi-finals. Should he just pull a sickie? Perhaps, but that could prove to be one costly phone call because should the Frenchman achieve the unlikely and beat Novak Djokovic his earnings for the week would double from a £88,000 participation fee to a cool £176,000.

  49. 1955: 

    For one man, tonight is a last hurrah before he can say goodbye to a miserable week on the banks of the Thames. For the evening's other participant, glory and a £1.2m bounty is still within his grasp thanks to a fruitful few days in the capital. But, really, everyone's a winner in the glamorous world of the ATP Tour Finals.

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