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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s shock second round defeat to Kei Nishikori at the BNP Paribas Masters has ended his bid to qualify for ATP World Tour Finals.
The 28-year-old Frenchman, who won the event on home soil back in 2008, was a clear favourite to overcome his Japanese opponent on Tuesday night and keep alive his hopes of featuring at the season-ending finale at the O2 Arena.
However, despite cruising through the first set, Nishikori upped his first service to 64 per cent as he evened things up in the second.
And, with Tsonga managing to hold serve despite struggling because of a thigh problem, he lost out on the second tie-break of the match to crash out 1-6 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (9/7).
“I believe he managed well, because I could have won that match,” said Tsonga. “He was very solid, especially during the important moments of the match.”
Tsonga’s defeat has boosted Richard Gasquet’s hopes of claiming one of the three remaining places for the ATP World Tour Finals after he defeated Fernando Verdasco 7-5 6-7 (6/8) 6-3.
Roger Federer will book his place in London with a win against South African Kevin Anderson on Wednesday and his fellow Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka is likely to complete the set of eight players who will feature in the tournament.
Meanwhile, second seed Novak Djokovic booked his place in the next round in Paris as he beat French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6