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London Qualifier Gasquet Records 50th Match Win Of Season; Plays Nadal Next

Paris, France

Gasquet© AFP/Getty ImagesRichard Gasquet qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and recorded his 50th match win of 2013 on Thursday.

Richard Gasquet qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and bettered his personal-best match wins milestone for a single season on Thursday.

Gasquet recorded 50 match victories in a season for the first time when he knocked out Kei Nishikori with a 6-3, 6-2 win in 86 minutes at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.

His victory came just a couple of hours after Tomas Berdych had beaten Milos Raonic in the third round, which guaranteed Stanislas Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet their spots in London.

“You can try to say you're not looking, that you will be concentrating on your own match, but I wanted to know,” said Gasquet. “I was relieved when I knew that I was qualified, so I was not so tense for my match.

“It was more difficult for me to qualify this time than six years ago. It was tough for me to come back, and today I believe the tennis is at a very high level. I won three tournaments and I went far at the US Open."

The 27-year-old Gasquet last reached the Paris semi-finals in 2007, the same year he qualified for the season-ending championships, when the event was held in Shanghai. He also notched 49 match wins.

Gasquet joins Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro, Berdych, Roger Federer and Wawrinka at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, which begins at The O2 in London from 4 November.

"I'm very proud to be able to go back this year. If I had been told two or three years ago that I would qualify again for the [Barclays ATP World Tour Finals] I wouldn't have believed it."

Gasquet will next meet Nadal in the Paris quarter-finals on Friday night.

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World No. 1 Nadal booked his meeting with Gasquet after a 7-5, 6-4 defeat of Jerzy Janowicz.

Participating in Paris for the first time since 2009, Nadal broke his his 14th-seeded opponent three times in the battle that lasted one hour and 43 minutes. The Spaniard now owns an 11-3 record at this tournament, including a runner-up finish in 2007 (l. to Nalbandian).

The big-serving Janowicz, who reached the 2012 final in his tournament debut (l. to Ferrer), struck only one double fault, but it came at a crucial moment when the 22 year old was down a break point in the second set. In the final game, Janowicz fought to prolong the match, but Nadal secured the victory on his fourth match point opportunity.

Janowicz finishes his season with a 27-20 record, including an appearance in the Wimbledon semi-finals (l. to Murray).

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