Big-serving Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France crashed out of the Shanghai Masters yesterday, beaten 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 4-6 by Japan’s Kei Nishikori, but top seed Rafael Nadal eased through to the third round.
Tsonga, the fourth seed, appeared to be on his way to a straightforward victory when he stepped up the intensity of his game to seal the first set tie-break with the loss of just one point.
However, world No. 47 Nishikori, who needed courtside treatment on his back, broke twice in the second set, leveling the match when the Frenchman netted with a forehand.
Nishikori, who has a poor record against top 10 players, produced two more breaks in the deciding set, taking advantage of an error-strewn performance by Tsonga and sealing the win on his third match point.
The defeat puts a serious dent in the Frenchman’s bid to reach next month’s ATP World Tour Finals. He came into the Shanghai Masters in eighth place in the race to reach the showpiece, featuring the top eight players of the year.
In his first match of the tournament after a first-round bye given to the top eight seeds, world No. 2 Nadal, bidding for his 20th Masters title, beat fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-2.
Second seed Andy Murray had a walkover into the third round after Dmitry Tursunov of Russia withdrew from their second-round match with a wrist injury.
Spain’s third seed David Ferrer came out on top 7-5, 7-6 (9/7) in his second-round clash with Canada’s Milos Raonic and Czech player Tomas Berdych beat compatriot Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-3.
Earlier, Juan Carlos Ferrero came from a set down in an all-Spanish tie to oust 16th seed Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, breaking six times during a match lasting a little over two hours.
AP, OSAKA, Japan
Third-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany advanced to the quarter-finals of the Japan Open yesterday with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Olga Govortsova of Belarus.
In other second-round action at the Utsubo Tennis Center, fourth-seeded Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic beat Erika Sema of Japan 6-0, 6-3, Zheng Jie of China upset fifth-seeded Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia 7-5, 6-3, while defending champion Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand defeated Mathilde Johansson of France 6-2, 6-4.
In a first-round match, Vania King of the US edged out compatriot Jill Craybas 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.
US Open champion Sam Stosur of Australia will meet Misaki Doi of Japan in a second-round match today.
AP, LINZ, Austria
Top-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic eased past Rebecca Marino of Canada 6-2, 6-2 on Tuesday to advance to the second round of the Generali Ladies.
The Wimbledon champion, ranked a career-high fourth, had four aces and broke Marino twice in each set.
Third-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia led 4-1 in the first set when Kateryna Bondarenko pulled out with a neck injury. The Ukrainian player broke Jankovic once, but did not score a point in her three service games.
In the second round, Jankovic will play Britain’s Anne Keothavong, who defeated Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-4, 6-1.
Earlier, Julia Goerges saved two match points in a third-set tiebreaker before beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7).
The sixth-seeded German player held serve on the first match point before her Latvian opponent double-faulted on the second chance. Goerges then converted her first match point to set up a second-round match against Evgeniya Rodina of Russia.
The fourth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. Pavlyuchenkova went 5-0 up in the decider and missed three match points before eventually closing out the win against Medina Garrigues.
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