Defending champion Novak Djokovic beat Richard Gasquet for the eighth straight time on Saturday to finish Group B with a perfect 3-0 record at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
The no.2 seed completed a 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3 win over the Frenchman in 2 hours and 9 mins.
Novak broke Gasquet in his opening service game and kept the advantage till 5-4 when he was serving for the set. Richard broke back and forced a tie-breaker. Djokovic wrapped it up 7-5, making one mini break more than his opponent.
A break in the third game of the second set was enough for Gasquet to take it 6-4. That’s the first time that the Neuchatel resident has taken a set off Nole since his only victory over the Serb back in 2007.
The 26-year-old Belgrade native made a crucial break in the second game of the decider. He closed the match at the second attempt firing an ace.
“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,” said Novak. “Richard has one of the best backhands on the tour. It was a pleasure to play against him.”
Match statistics: aces (6-10), double faults (3-3), winneres (30-27), unforced errors (45-33), total points won (97-96).
The 2008 and 2012 titlist will face Stanislas Wawrinka in semi-finals on Sunday (21.00 CET). The Swiss finished second in Group A, behind top-seeded Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic leads Wawrinka 14-2 in their ATP H2H series and has won their past 13 matches.
The Serb, who is on a 20-match winning streak, improved to a 70-9 match record in 2013.
Before Nole and Stan take to the court at the O2 Arena, no.1 Rafael Nadal and six-time former champion Roger Federer will square off for the 32nd time (15.00 CET).
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