SHANGHAI ROLEX MASTERS 2011
Nishikori Upsets London Hopeful Tsonga
by ATP Staff|
World No. 47 Kei Nishikori denied Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the chance to accrue valuable points in the Battle for London as he defeated the fourth-seeded Frenchman 6-7(1), 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday in the second round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
The Japanese player rallied from a break down in the third set and converted his third match point in the 10th game after two hours and 27 minutes. It was just his second win over a Top 10 player in 11 attempts and marks his best performance at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.
Tsonga began the week at eighth in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings, with a 500 point lead over ninth-placed Nicolas Almagro, who faces Andy Roddick in the third round on Thursday. The Frenchman is bidding to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the second time and will resume his campaign in two weeks at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.
"Of course [I am] disappointed because I lost," said Tsonga. "But today I had a good opponent. Even if maybe I didn't play with a lot of energy, I played good tennis. Today my opponent was just better than me. I have more points than all my opponents [in the Battle for London]. So, of course, for the moment I'm confident. I will take some rest and then I will come back to qualify."
Tsonga’s fellow London contender Tomas Berdych fared better. The sixth seed defeated fellow Czech Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-3 in 77 minutes, breaking serve three times from six opportunities and winning 90 per cent of points behind his first serve.
The 26-year-old Berdych is on track to qualify for the season finale for the second successive year. He is currently in seventh position in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings after ending a 29-month title drought with victory at the China Open in Beijing (d. Cilic) last week.
Berdych will next face Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, who battled past Alex Bogomolov Jr. of the United States 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3 in just over two hours and 30 minutes. This season's Serbia Open 2011 finalist has a 32-23 match record on the season.