- Paris Masters
Wawrinka and Gasquet clinch ATP Finals berths
Richard Gasquet and Stanislas Wawrinka took the last two spots for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals after Milos Raonic lost to Tomas Berdych 7-6(13) 6-4 in the third round of the Paris Masters.
Raonic needed at least a runner-up finish in Paris to have a chance to qualify for the London tournament next week, which features the top eight players. This will be Wawrinka's first appearance; Gasquet also qualified in 2007.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro and Berdych had already assured their spots before playing in Paris. Andy Murray also qualified but withdrew from the event to recover from back surgery.
Roger Federer made the tournament for a 12th straight year by defeating Kevin Anderson in the second round on Wednesday, and had no problems in reaching the quarter-finals after beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-4. Federer was happy to see both Wawrinka and Gasquet join him in London.
"Since Richard has a one-handed backhand, I like it. I like to see one-handed backhands in the Masters," a smiling Federer said about one trait he shares with Wawrinka and Gasquet.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion was not surprised by Wawrinka's good season.
"Physically we know how tough he is," Federer said of his Swiss compatriot. "I think it was important for him mentally to show the players and the press, I guess, and the critics, that he can hang tough with the best guys and do it on all surfaces."
Wawrinka won the Portugal Open and had three runner-up finishes, while Gasquet won three titles this year. They both reached the semi-finals of the US Open.
"Going to London is not a normal thing," Wawrinka said. "You need to have an exceptional year. This year I had very good results to be able to compete for this. What changed this year is that I really tried to enjoy my victories more."
Wawrinka beat Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-3 6-2 in Paris on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals, while Gasquet defeated Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-2.
Rafael Nadal battled past Jerzy Janowicz for a 7-5 6-4 win. The Spaniard survived a stern test - at one point Janowicz sent down four straight aces in 49 seconds to go 4-3 up in the first set.
Djokovic rallied from a set down to beat American John Isner 6-7(5) 6-1 6-2.
Defending champion Ferrer also progressed as the Spaniard impressively saw off Gilles Simon 6-2 6-3. Basel champion Del Potro was given a scare in his encounter against Grigor Dimitrov, but the Argentinian won 3-6 6-3 6-4 to progress to the quarter-finals.
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