Wed, Nov 14, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Djokovic knocked out of Masters Cup

AFP , SHANGHAI

Novak Djokovic reacts after missing a shot against Richard Gasquet during their Masters Cup match at the Qizhong Tennis Stadium in Shanghai yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

World No. 3 Novak Djokovic was knocked out of the season-ending Masters Cup after his second consecutive defeat yesterday.

The 20-year-old went down 6-4, 6-2 to Frenchman Richard Gasquet in a flat display which rules him out of finishing among the top two in the Gold Group round robin.

Djokovic, who also lost in straight sets to David Ferrer, was tipped as a main contender for the US$4.45 million year-end tournament featuring the world's top eight players.

slow start

But the subdued Serb got off to a slow start and was a double break down before showing signs of life, breaking back but still losing the set, 6-4.

Gasquet's backhand continued to trouble the Serb and he was broken for 2-1 in the second before immediately returning the favor, drilling a winner down the line.

However Djokovic was struggling on serve and he threw his racquet to the floor in disgust as he went 0-40 down in the next game, netting a low backhand volley to fall behind again.

ruthless

The game was up for the lackluster Serb and Gasquet, ranked eighth, capitalized by breaking again for 5-2 before serving out the match in one hour and 25 minutes.

The result is the second upset at the Masters Cup after top-ranked Roger Federer's shock loss to Fernando Gonzalez on Monday.

Djokovic had won both his previous matches against Gasquet, including this year's final in Estoril.

The young Serb is coming off a breakthrough year with five tournament wins and his first Grand Slam final, reaching the No. 3 ranking in July.

Gasquet, the last player to qualify for the year-ending showpiece, has also enjoyed his best season so far, winning his fifth career title in Mumbai in one of three finals appearances.

The Frenchman is still in the running for the semi-finals after his loss to world No. 2 Rafael Nadal.

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