The second seed and 2008/2012 champion improved to 10-1 lifetime against eighth seed Richard Gasquet, a two-time qualifier for the season finale, with a 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3 victory at The O2 in London.
Djokovic, already assured of his semi-final qualification ahead of the final round robin match, extended his winning streak to 20 matches with victory in two hours and eight minutes. He is now 70-9 on the season, which includes six titles.
He plays seventh seed Stanislas Wawrinka on Sunday night at 8 p.m. GMT / 3 p.m. ET.
Djokovic started with a bang against Gasquet, striking a smash for a winner on the first of his two break point opportunities in the opening game. When the Serbian served for the set at 5-3 though, he dropped to 0/40 and could not salvage the game.
Gasquet showed his frustration at 2-5 in the tie-break, having lost three straight points, as he thumped his racquet on his thigh. Djokovic earned three set points with a delicate drop shot, but faced an anxious wait before finally clinching the 48-minute set by virtue of a backhand down the line, followed by a backhand volley into space.
Silence descended on The O2 arena when Djokovic was broken to 30 in the third game of the second set. When Gasquet’s first serve deserted him at 3-2, he was helped out of trouble by three groundstroke errors from Djokovic. But he held his nerve to win his first set against Djokovic since November 2007, when the event was played in Shanghai.
Djokovic patiently rallied with Gasquet waiting for the opening in the second set. When it came on Gasquet’s serve, at 0-1, 30/40, with an off-balance crosscourt backhand from the Frenchman, it led Djokovic to play with renewed vigour. Djokovic hit 13 of his 30 total winners in the decider.
Gasquet completed his season with a 50-23 mark, having won three ATP World Tour titles for the first time in seven years. The 27 year old has finished in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the second year in a row.
AT A GLANCE
Reigning Barclays ATP World Tour Finals champion Novak Djokovic won his 20th match in a row, defeating Richard Gasquet 76(5) 46 63 in the final Group B round robin match. Djokovic has an eight-match winning streak at The O2 and this is the second year in a row he’s completed round robin play undefeated.
Djokovic notched his 70th match win of the season for the third year in a row. This is the third-longest match winning streak of Djokovic’s career. He compiled a 43-match winning streak in 2010-11 and 22 in 2012-13.
The World No. 2 won his 17th career match in the season finale and he moved ahead of Hall-of-Famers Bjorn Borg and Guillermo Vilas for 10th place on the all-time tournament match wins list. Djokovic is also 9-2 in three-set matches in the tournament.
Djokovic improved to 10-1 lifetime against Gasquet (3-0 this year). On Sunday, he will face No. 7 Stanislas Wawrinka for the fourth time this season and 17th time overall. Djokovic owns a 14-2 head-to-head record, winning the past 13 meetings.
Gasquet, who was appearing in the season finale for the second time (2007), finished Group B with an 0-3 round robin record. He will finish as the top Frenchman for the first time since ’07 at No. 9 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.