Roger Federer got his first win at the World Tour Finals over Richard Gasquet with a 64 63 win over the talented but underachieving Frenchman. It wasn't a masterclass performance by the Swiss Maestro but he got the job done in straight sets and that's what matters.
I won't go into great detail about the match but at a far glance all you need to know is that Federer served well, used his variety to keep Gasquet off guard, and was very efficient when approaching the net. He hit 29 winners to 30 errors but he outplayed his opponent and that's why he got the win.
Gasquet was once a very promising prospect and it's sad to see all that great talent go to waste. He has a smooth all-round game but a lot of that is wasted because he stands so far back. His backhand is world class but his forehand is merely average, as is his serve. His head also doesn't do him any favours in the big points, either.
I don't know what his coaches are telling him, but in this day and age you can't play the way he does unless you are a great defender like Monfils, Nadal, or Ferrer. When playing guys like Federer, Djokovic, and Rafa, getting pushed behind the baseline and giving them time to attack is a recipe for disaster. That's what happened in the match vs Roger - given time, Fed was able to work the ball around and didn't really feel rushed at all. His backhand even held up well against Gasquet's.
For Federer to advance to the knockout stages, he will need to beat Del Potro in his final round robin match. Any victory will guarantee him a spot in the semis where he would play Rafael Nadal.
Since it could be Fed's last match of the season, I expect he will give it his all. The win against the Argentine in Paris last week will help his confidence going into the match, and he certainly knows the game plan against the former US Open champion - keep him off balance with variety and serve well.
Best of luck Roger, your fans are with you.
This is my tennis blog, Lefty Advantage. Tennis is my biggest passion in life and I started this site to discuss the great game. I mainly follow the career of Roger Federer, but I truly love watching all tennis, whether it be the final of a Grand Slam or a junior tournament on the other side of the world.
I have played tennis for 13 years. If you ever met me, I could talk your head off about all things tennis for hours on end if you would let me. Welcome, and enjoy the writing!