Federer wins first match at ATP Finals

The Associated Press
Federer wins first match at ATP Finals
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Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning his tennis match against Richard Gasquet of France at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

LONDON (AP) -- Roger Federer made light work of Richard Gasquet for his first win at the ATP World Tour Finals, defeating the Frenchman 6-4, 6-3 to boost his chances of making the semifinals on Thursday.

Federer quickly took control and broke Gasquet four times in the match. The Frenchman hit only 11 winners and looked inhibited throughout.

Federer was not having a great day either - he had 30 unforced errors - but prevailed on important points as Gasquet converted only one of his six break points. Federer needed five match points to earn his 43rd Finals win.

''It is a big win for me and hopefully I can keep it up in the next match against Juan Martin del Potro,'' Federer said. ''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.''

Federer and Gasquet both lost their opening round-robin match, against defending champion Novak Djokovic and del Potro, respectively. Djokovic played del Potro late Thursday.

It was Federer's 11th win in 13 matches against Gasquet, who started by winning his first service game at love before fading.

Federer is bidding to reach the semifinals of the season-ending elite event for the 11th time. The Finals are Federer's last chance to win a big tournament this season. He has won only one title in the past 14 months and has only three victories against top-10 opponents in 2013.