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Tsonga Survives Scare; Wawrinka Advances

Paris, France

Tsonga© AFP/Getty ImagesJo-Wilfried Tsonga needs to win one more match to qualify for the season finale in London.

Sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga stayed on track in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London on Tuesday evening as he edged fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(2) in the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.

“There was a lot of tension, a lot of intensity, a very complicated first round for me,” said Tsonga. “I fought until the end. I hung in there, and I'm happy for the way I pulled it out because it was not easy.”

Tsonga needs to win one more match and reach the quarter-finals in Paris to secure his place in the eight-man field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Last year, he finished runner-up to Roger Federer at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament before, one week later, losing to the Swiss again in the final of the year-end championships in London.

The 26-year-old Tsonga improved to a 54-21 match record on the season, highlighted by winning two ATP World Tour titles from four finals. He won his lone ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy four years ago in Paris, beating David Nalbandian in the final.

Swiss No. 16 seed Stanislas Wawrinka broke serve four times as he defeated Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 6-3, 6-2 in 66 minutes. The Lausanne native claimed his 35th win of the season as he bounced back strongly from the first-round defeat he suffered to Nikolay Davydenko at the Swiss Indoors Basel last week.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori eased past wild card Benoit Paire 7-6(2), 6-2 to win his opener. The 15th seed converted four of his 10 break points to seal the win against the Frenchman in one hour and 35 minutes. Nishikori advances to play Gilles Simon or lucky loser Victor Hanescu.

American Sam Querrey advanced to a second-round meeting with World No. 2 Novak Djokovic. Querrey was leading 6-1, 1-1 when his opponent, Fernando Verdasco retired with a neck injury.

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© Hiroshi Sato

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