SHANGHAI ROLEX MASTERS 2012
Tsonga Sets Baghdatis Clash
by ATP Staff|
World No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was tested in his Shanghai Rolex Masters opener on Wednesday, edging fellow Frenchman Benoit Paire 7-6(7), 7-5. In a match featuring nine breaks of serve, Tsonga converted five of his 10 break point opportunities and struck 10 aces for victory in just under two hours.
The 27-year-old Tsonga is coming off a runner-up showing at the China Open in Beijing (l. to Djokovic) and has a 49-18 match record on the season. He is currently in eighth position in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London, hoping to clinch one of the four remaining berths at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
For a place in the quarter-finals, Tsonga will face Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, who battled last 12th-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 7-6(3). Former World No. 8 Baghdatis hit 12 aces to Raonic’s 15 and served for the match in the 12th game of the third set before ultimately closing it out in the tie-break after two hours and 40 minutes.
The 21-year-old Raonic, fresh from a final showing at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships last week, was bidding to further press his claim in the Race To London. He dropped to a 44-18 match record in 2012. Baghdatis, a semi-finalist last week in Tokyo (l. to Nishikori), notched his 32nd win of the season. He will look to overturn a 0-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Tsonga when the pair meets on Thursday.
Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov will play two-time defending champion Andy Murray in the third round after saving all four break points he faced to oust French No. 15 seed Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-4 in 75 minutes.