CHINA OPEN 2011
Tsonga To Meet Ferrero In QFs
by ATP Staff|
France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, currently No. 7 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings, further boosted his chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November, by reaching the China Open quarter-finals on Thursday.
Watched by former Houston Rockets basketball star Yao Ming, top seed Tsonga overcame Chinese wild card Ze Zhang 6-3, 6-4 in 77 minutes, hitting eight aces past the World No. 389. "It was not easy today, and I'm happy to win," said Tsonga. "I think when you reach the Top 100 you can see the difference with the serve and with the returns."
Two weeks ago, Tsonga won his sixth ATP World Tour title at the Moselle Open in Metz (d. Ljubicic). He is now 43-18 on the season and will next face former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero.
Ferrero improved to 5-0 lifetime against fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers with a 6-4, 6-4 victory in one hour and 39 minutes. Ferrero, this season's MercedesCup titlist (d. Andujar), saved all three break points he faced. Granollers, who lifted the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad trophy (d. Verdasco) in July, dropped to 22-22 in 2011.
"Marcel is very good friend of mine, so [it is] always not nice to beat him or another player," said Ferrero. "His style to me is good. I like to play against him. I feel very good every time I come to Asia. I know that I have a lot fans here supporting me all the time, so for me it's amazing to come here very far, far away from home and feel like at home.
"I think [Jo's] a great player. He's in a good shape. He's been playing very well [for] most of the season on the hard courts, and of course he's one of the favourites to win the tournament. But it's going to be a nice match for me. He [has beaten] me on hard court and I beat him on clay court. It will be another challenge for me."
Marin Cilic, the Marseille and Umag finalist, converted seven of his 13 break point opportunities to defeat Italian Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-7(1), 6-3 in one hour and 54 minutes. Later in the day, World No. 31 Kevin Anderson, who picked up his hometown SA Tennis Open title in February, recorded his 35th match win of a career-best season with a 7-6(3), 7-6(4) win over Spaniard Albert Montanes.