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Page last updated at 18:55 GMT, Sunday, 2 November 2008

Tsonga seals Paris Masters crown

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Tsonga will climb to seventh in the world rankings after his win

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga claimed his maiden Masters Series title when he beat Argentine David Nalbandian 6-3 4-6 6-4 in the final of the Paris Masters.

The victory also gave the Australian Open runner-up the last qualifying spot for the season's finale in Shanghai.

He joins Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Nikolay Davydenko, Andy Roddick and Juan Martin del Potro in the Masters Cup.

"It wraps up a very rich season for me," said the 23-year-old Frenchman.

"I played very well. The icing on the cake will be Shanghai (from 9-16 November)."

Tsonga's serve was the key as he put 25 aces past the eighth seed, whose game was nowhere near the heights it reached in his quarter-final win over Andy Murray and in patches of his semi-final triumph over Nikolay Davydenko.


This first-ever meeting between the two players was far from a classic with Nalbandian, especially, looking tired.

Tsonga dominated throughout and picked up the one and only break of serve in the first set in Nalbandian's opening service game.

Nalbandian responded in the second set and forced the Frenchman to crash a forehand into the net at 0-40 to gift his opponent the set.

Tsonga, whose only previous title was the Bangkok Open in September, will climb to world number seven when the ATP release their rankings on Monday.

The home favourite quickly took command of the third set when he broke in the third game, shrugging off another break point with one of his 25 aces.

He then held serve to wrap up victory after surviving three other break points.

With compatriot Gilles Simon moving up to ninth, France will have two players in the top 10 for the first time since Yannick Noah and Henri Leconte in 1988.

Nalbandian's season is not finished yet. The Argentine will play in the Davis Cup final against Spain from 21-23 November.

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