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Tsonga Sees Off Almagro Challenge; Ferrer Up Next

Paris, France

Tsonga© Getty ImagesJo-Wilfried Tsonga held off Nicolas Almagro to reach the quarter-finals.

Sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated 11th seed Nicolas Almagro 7-6(4), 7-6(3) on Thursday evening in Paris to reach the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Masters. Victory for Tsonga also ensured the Frenchman would qualify for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be played at The O2 in London from 5-12 November.

Read: Tsonga, Tipsarevic Clinch Final Two Spots

Neither player was able to break serve in the 1hr., 45min., contest, though Tsonga created three break point chances, but the Frenchman extended his FedEx ATP Head2Head lead over Almagro to 6-0 as he fired 10 aces and won 80 per cent of points behind his first serve.

"What I liked about this match is that I felt I was really eager to do well and I was fighting a lot, like a tiger," said Tsonga. "I don't believe I played very well tonight. The good thing is that I'm fighting and I'm eager to play well. Sometimes you start struggling, and then after you play better and better. I hope the next match will be even better than this one."

The 27-year-old Tsonga is bidding to reach the final of this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament for the third time. The right-hander captured his lone Masters 1000 crown in Paris four years ago (d. Nalbandian) and last season finished runner-up to Roger Federer in the final.

Tsonga, who has a 55-21 match record this season, goes on to face fourth seed David Ferrer. The Spaniard topped 16th seed Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in two hours and three minutes. Ferrer converted five of his 14 break points, winning 46 per cent of his return points.

Ferrer won his sixth title of the year at the Valencia Open 500 (d. Dolgopolov), tying him with Roger Federer for the season lead. He is bidding to lift his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy. Ferrer has split his two previous meetings with Tsonga, losing their latest encounter in the round of 16 at Wimbledon last year.

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