Berdych and Tsonga close in on London spot
Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were just one win from securing a place in the season-ending ATP World Tour finals after they safely moved into the third round of the Paris Masters.sports Updated: Nov 09, 2011 13:52 IST
Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were just one win from securing a place in the season-ending ATP World Tour finals after they safely moved into the third round of the Paris Masters on Tuesday.
Czech Berdych, who will book his ticket for the Nov. 20-27 event at the 02 in London if he reaches the quarter-finals at Bercy, dismissed Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3 7-5, while Frenchman Tsonga, also needing a last-eight berth to qualify, beat another Spaniard, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 6-3 6-4.
Seven players are vying for one of the three remaining spots for the World Tour finals.
World number one Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, who has pulled out of the Bercy tournament, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and David Ferrer have already qualified.
Fifth seed Berdych will next face either 11th seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia or American Alex Bogomolov Jr, while local favourite Tsonga, seeded six, will be up against either Spaniard Nicolas Almagro or Italian Andreas Seppi.
After an early trade of service breaks, world number 23 Verdasco netted a forehand to hand Berdych a 5-3 lead in the opening set, the Czech wrapping it up by holding serve to love.
He broke in the third and seventh games of the second set but Verdasco put up some resistance to claw it back to 5-5.
Berdych broke again in the 11th game before sealing victory on his sixth match point with a backhand winner.
Tsonga did not have it all his own way against Garcia-Lopez.
He saved three break points in a 12-minute seventh game in the opening set before breaking his opponent to forge ahead. The Frenchman then fell 4-2 behind in the second set before upping his game to reel off four successive games for victory.
American Andy Roddick, the 13th seed, also reached the third round with a 6-4 6-4 win over Frenchman Julien Benneteau.
On Wednesday, top seed Djokovic will start his Paris campaign with a second-round meeting with Croatian Ivan Dodig. Murray and Federer, who have never won the Paris indoor tournament, will also be in action, against Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Adrian Mannarino respectively.