LONDON -- Roger Federer made light work of Richard Gasquet to clinch his first win at the ATP World Tour Finals, defeating the Frenchman 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday to boost his chances of making the semifinals for an 11th time.
In a match pitting together two stylists, the sixth-seeded Swiss quickly took control and broke Gasquet four times in the match. The Frenchman hit only 11 winners and looked inhibited throughout.
Federer, who has won a record six year-end championships, 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 chances. 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," said Federer, chasing only his second title of the year.
"I'm not coming back from a serious injury, but I'm coming back from a lot of sort of ups and downs, resetting things, trying out things, making sure I get my confidence back, my movement and so forth."
Federer and Gasquet lost their opening round-robin matches in Group B, against defending champion Novak Djokovic and del Potro, respectively. Djokovic played del Potro late Thursday.
Only once in his previous 11 Finals appearances has Federer failed to advance to the last four. A win against del Potro on Saturday will guarantee him a spot in the semis, while Gasquet became the second player to be eliminated, following David Ferrer.
It was Federer's 11th win in 13 matches against Gasquet, who started by winning his first service game at love before fading.
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, including one against del Potro in Paris last week.
"I'm glad I got one back in Paris because I knew we could be again in the same group, we could be playing each other," Federer said. "I think that win for me in Paris psychologically was very important. I could beat top-10 guys, I beat Richard, I beat Juan Martin last week. I truly believe my confidence is higher, and that's what I need to beat the best, and Juan Martin is part of that group honestly."