PERTH, Australia — Roger Federer defeated Richard Gasquet of France 6-1, 6-4 to move Switzerland to within one win of the Hopman Cup final on Friday.
Federer, making his return to tournament play after six months off with a left knee injury, was rarely threatened in the match before a capacity crowd of nearly 14,000 at Perth Arena. He finished the 56-minute match with two service winners.
“It’s the third match into the year, so I’m starting to see the ball better and better,” said Federer, who lost to Germany’s Alexander Zverev in three tiebreak sets on Wednesday.
Federer’s teammate, Belinda Bencic, was to play Kristina Mladenovic of France in the second singles. A win advances Switzerland to Saturday’s final against the United States team of Coco Vandeweghe and Jack Sock.
The U.S. has won the Hopman Cup a record six times in the tournament’s 28-year history
Earlier, Zverev and Andrea Petkovic beat Britain’s Daniel Evans and Heather Watson 4-2, 4-2 in doubles to give Germany a 2-1 win.
Watson beat Petkovic 6-2, 7-6 (3), coming back from 5-1 down in the second set. But Zverev leveled for Germany when he beat Evans 6-4, 6-3, sending the tie to the doubles decider which was played under the Fast4 format.
It was Germany’s first win of the tournament. Britain finished 0-3.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Top-seeded Andy Murray said Sunday he is back to his best ahead of the Dubai Tennis Championships after recounting his struggles with shingles following his early exit from the Australian Open last month.
Shingles is a common, painful skin rash.
“I was a bit sick for 10 days, a couple of weeks, after I got back from Australia,” said Murray, who will play Malek Jaziri of Tunisia in the first round in Dubai. “I feel fresh and ready to go here.
“I had shingles,” he added. “It’s not terrible, but it’s not great. I had to go easy for a little while, so I wasn’t able to push that hard in training when I got back into it. But I’m fine now and have been training flat out the last two weeks.”
Murray said he’s not sure if the illness had already started developing while he was playing in the Australian Open.
The British top-ranked player was upset in a four-set, fourth-round encounter with Mischa Zverev at the first major of the year.
“I didn’t play particularly well at the Australian Open,” Murray said. “I started to play a bit better as it went on, but not as well as I would’ve liked.”
This marks Murray’s sixth career appearance at the Dubai tournament. His best result was reaching the 2012 final where he lost to Roger Federer.
MARSEILLE, France (AP) Second-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won a second title in as many weeks by defeating fellow Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Open 13 on Sunday.
The 11th-ranked Tsonga put on a nearly flawless performance on his serve to win his 14th career title at the indoor event. Tsonga hit seven aces, dropped only three points on his first serve and did not face a single break point.
The former Australian Open runner-up broke once in each set and added a third Marseille trophy to his collection after victories in 2009 and 2013.
Tsonga, who defeated defending champion Nick Kyrgios in the semifinals, captured the Rotterdam title last week to end a two-year trophy drought.