Richard Gasquet into second round of the Shanghai Masters with straight sets victory over Brian Baker
Last Updated: October 8, 2012 3:26pm
Richard Gasquet breezed into the second round of the Shanghai Masters with an emphatic straight sets victory over American Brian Baker.
The Frenchman bounced back from last week's shock defeat to wildcard Zhang Ze at the China Open to record a resounding 6-2 6-3 victory, boosting his hopes of reaching the season-ending ATP Tour Finals in London in the process.
Gasquet totally dominated the first set against an out-of-sorts Baker, who had come through qualifying, as he raced into a 5-0 lead.
He endured a momentary wobble as Baker held serve for the first time and then broke to reduce the deficit to 5-2, but was quickly back into his stride as he secured another break of his own to close out the set.
The second was a much more competitive affair and Baker put the Gasquet delivery under pressure in the seventh game as he fought back to deuce.
However, the 11th seed survived and when Baker then netted a backhand to hand his opponent a decisive break of serve the dye was cast.
Gasquet duly served out for victory, closing the contest with a second serve ace down the middle and will now face either Radek Stepanek or Lleyton Hewitt.
Tenth seed Marin Cilic proved too strong for Poland's Lukas Kubot as he recorded 7-5 6-3 triumph, while big-serving American Sam Querrey was another straight sets victor, easing past home qualifier Zhe Li 6-3 6-1.
Elsewhere, there were wins for Grigor Dimitrov, Andreas Seppi, Kevin Anderson, Benoit Paire and Tommy Robredo, Alexandr Dolgopolov and Tommy Haas.
Haas produced a superb comeback in the final match of the day as he ousted ninth seed Nicolas Almagro of Spain in three sets.
Almagro, who also has aspirations of making the London finals, looked to be in control of proceedings as he took a tight first set.
He had chances to take a stranglehold on the second, but Haas fought bravely to force a tie-break and then reeled off three consecutive points at a crucial juncture to take it.
Having found himself pegged back, a deflated Almagro then wilted when Haas moved a break to the good in the decider as his opponent netted a forehand.
The German stormed 5-1 ahead and duly served out to love to complete a 4-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 success and will now face Robredo in the next round.