BNP PARIBAS OPEN 2013
Anderson Ousts Simon; Tsonga Edges Raonic
Indian Wells, U.S.A.
World No. 37 Kevin Anderson reached the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals on Wednesday, upsetting French No. 13 seed Gilles Simon 6-3, 1-6, 6-4. The South African had beaten fourth seed David Ferrer in the second round at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Anderson is through to the quarter-finals of an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament for the second time; he also reached the last eight at the Sony Open Tennis in Miami in 2011 (l. to Djokovic). The 26 year old is on the comeback from right elbow surgery, which he underwent after the Australian Open. He returned last week in Delray Beach, where he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Isner).
For a place in the semifinals, Anderson will face sixth seed Tomas Berdych, who defeated 10th seed Richard Gasquet 6-1, 7-5. The Czech fired 10 aces and saved 12 of the 13 break points he faced to clinch victory in one hour and 40 minutes.
The 27-year-old Berdych is coming off back-to-back runner-up showings in Marseille (l. to Tsonga) and Dubai (l. to Djokovic). He improved to a 17-4 match record in 2013 and will look to improve his 5-0 record over Anderson in the quarterfinals.
Eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached his third tour-level quarter-final of the season, edging 17th seed Milos Raonic of Canada 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Raonic broke through in the fifth game of the first set to take the opener, but Tsonga levelled the match by breaking in the 12th game of the second set. Serve dominated the third set until the 10th game, when Raonic double faulted on match point down 30/40.
“It was tough,” said Tsonga. “He started the match well. He was serving unbelievable, but I stayed in. I fought a lot and tried to get into a good rhythm to return his serve. Then when I found it, I just played well."
"It's not a great feeling right now," said Raonic. "I sort of had my foot on the pedal and I just let off. It's dangerous, especially against any guy in this group. Obviously the Top 4 will make you pay for it much more, but any guy after that I think it's a really tight group that everybody will make you pay."
The 27-year-old Tsonga has a 12-3 match record on the season, highlighted by winning the Open 13 title in Marseille (d. Berdych) and reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals (l. to Federer). He is through to the quarter-finals in Indian Wells for the first time and is bidding to win his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title after victory at the 2008 BNP Paribas Masters in Paris Bercy.