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Federer makes short work of Gasquet at Hopman Cup

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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.

Tsonga levels for France in Davis Cup final against Belgium

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LILLE, France (AP) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga swept past Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 to put France level with Belgium on the opening day of the Davis Cup final on Friday.

Tsonga’s comfortable win over the 76th-ranked Darcis evened the tie at 1-1 ahead after Belgium’s top player David Goffin had dispatched Lucas Pouille in straight sets.

Tsonga missed several chances to move ahead early in the first set but finally broke for a 5-3 lead with a deep forehand attack on his fourth break point. The Frenchman then claimed five consecutive games and served out the second set at love with a drop shot that hit the net cord and dribbled over for a winner.

Tsonga continued to play consistent and occasionally brilliant tennis in the third, including a series of reflex volleys.

Dimitrov defeats Goffin to win ATP Finals title

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LONDON — Grigor Dimitrov claimed the biggest title of his career at the season-ending ATP Finals on Sunday, prevailing on his fifth match point to beat David Goffin of Belgium 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

“It’s such an honor to play here,” Dimitrov said. “This week has been one of the best I’ve ever had.”

The sixth-seeded Bulgarian won in 2 hours, 30 minutes, 15 seconds for the longest final since the tournament returned to a three-set format in 2008.

Dimitrov won all five of his matches at the O2 Arena to become the first player to win the elite tournament on debut since 1998, when Alex Corretja of Spain triumphed in Hanover.

Goffin saved three match points on his own serve, but Dimitrov kept his cool, taking the second opportunity on his own delivery to close it out.

By reaching the final, Dimitrov had already secured a career-high No. 3-ranking to end the year. Goffin also moves up to a career-best No. 7.

The final lasted more than 11 minutes longer than Roger Federer took to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2011. It was a nervous start as both players failed to hold serve in the opening three games before Goffin settled down to control the opener as Dimitrov struggled with his timing.

However, Dimitrov fought his way back into the set. He leveled in the eighth game before breaking once more in the 12th to snatch the set in which Goffin hit eight more winners.

Dimitrov’s confidence carried into the second set, where he brought up the first break point in the sixth game, only for Goffin to produce a stunning cross-court backhand winner to save it. The momentum back with him, Goffin broke the following game for a 4-3 lead and calmly closed out the set.

Having come from behind to beat Federer in Saturday’s semifinal, Goffin had every reason to be confident and could have gone ahead. But he wasted four break points in the opening game – they would turn out to be his only chances in the decider.

Dimitrov was more clinical, striking in the sixth game to take control. Goffin tested Dimitrov’s nerve by saving three match points on his own serve, before saving one on Dimitrov’s. However the Belgian’s resistance came to an end as he netted a backhand volley, leaving Dimitrov in tears.

(This story has been corrected to show it was the longest three-set final since the tournament returned to a three-set format in 2008, not longest three-set final ever.)