Frenchman Richard Gasquet earned his first career win over Novak Djokovic with a rousing 6-4, 6-2, win over the Serb in Shanghai Tuesday evening. Also winning Tuesday, in a battle of Spaniards David Ferrer remained perfect in his group following a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Rafael Nadal.
With boths players making their Masters Cup debuts, Gasquet overwhelmed the World No. 3, breaking Djokovic’s finals three service games to close out the match.
“Today I had nothing to lose against Novak because he’s No. 3 in the world,” said Gasquet, who fell to Rafael Nadal on Sunday in three sets. “I just had to enjoy the moment to play in the Masters Cup and just to play my game. I did a perfect match. I played a lot of amazing shots with my backhand.”
Djokovic, who was the first to arrive in Shanghai, was eliminated from the semifinals with the loss and has yet to win a set in the tournament.
“I didn’t find any solutions,” he said. “He was playing well, he was very patient.”
The 20-year-old Serb is looking ahead to next year, when he says he’ll prepare better for the event.
“So hopefully I’m going to prepare better and sit down with everybody and try to see what is best for my fitness and for my mental strength to do well next year,” Djokovic said.
Gasquet was the last player to qualify for the Masters event.
Nadal, meanwhile, suffered his second straight defeat to Ferrer, who beat Rafa in the US Open. Nadal still leads the head-to-head 4-3, and now will hope his countryman defeats Gasquet in his next match to ensure a semifinal qualification.
Ferrer is playing in his first year-end championships, Nadal his third.
In the Gold Group standings, Ferrer is 2-0, Nadal 1-1, Gasquet 1-1 and Djokovic 0-2. On Thursday, Ferrer will play Gasquet, Djokovic will face Nadal.
On Wednesday, Roger Federer returns against Nikolay Davydenko, while Andy Roddick meets Fernando Gonzalez.
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