Wawrinka and Del Potro win openers
Originally published on: 04/11/13 00:00
Wawrinka, who is the third Swiss after Jakob Hlasek and Roger Federer to qualify for the season finale, claimed a third successive win over Berdych this season with a 6-3 6-7(0) 6-3 victory in the first singles match of the tournament.
“I feel really proud to be here,” Wawrinka said. "That means I’m playing amazing tennis, especially all the year. I had a great year.”
Wawrinka, who will meet Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer in his remaining Group A round robin matches, has never beaten Nadal in 11 career meetings but believes the conditions at The O2 give him a good chance of claiming his first win against the world No.1.
“I think [indoors] is the best surface to play him, for sure,” Wawrinka said. “For sure he’s a much better player than me. He’s No.1 in the world and he had an incredible year. It doesn’t matter if I play him indoors or outdoors it’s going to be a tough match for me.”
The opening match in Group B also went to three sets as Juan Martin Del Potro battled from a set down to defeat Richard Gasquet 6-7(4) 6-3 7-5 during the evening session.
Gasquet, making his first appearance at the year-end finals since 2007, came out swinging as he claimed the opening set on a tiebreak having initially served for the set at 5-3, but Del Potro bounced back to claim an opening win and go top of Group B with matches against Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic still to come.
In the doubles, Polish pair Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski won the opening match of the tournament with a 6-3 7-6(8) victory over Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer in Group A, while in Group B Fernando Verdasco and David Marrero ran out easy winners against fellow Spaniards Marc Lopez and Marcel Granollers 6-1 6-4.