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Page last updated at 22:41 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Injury hits Tsonga's London hopes

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Tsonga won his third title of the year in Tokyo last month

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga saw his chances of reaching the ATP World Tour Finals all but end after retiring from his opening match at the Valencia Open.

The third seed pulled out with a left wrist injury while trailing Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 6-7 (3-7) 6-0 3-0.

He now faces a race to be fit for next week's Paris Masters, the final points-scoring event before the London Finals.

At the Swiss Indoors in Basle, world number one Roger Federer eased to a 6-3 6-3 victory over Andreas Seppi.

"It was a bit tougher (than the first round), but I was able to raise my game at a few crucial moments and that was the difference," said Federer, who rested through October.

"I recuperated and worked a bit to get in shape and can play maybe this late in the season in good health, which last year wasn't the case."

The three-time defending champion served solidly to ease into the quarter-finals of his hometown tournament and extend his winning streak there to 17 matches.

Another home favourite, Stanislas Wawrinka, was given a stern test by a rejuvenated Ivan Ljubicic before eventually prevailing 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4.


Ljubicic is back in the world's top 25 after winning in Lyon but, having battled for more than two hours, came up just short against the sixth seed.

Marin Cilic, the runner-up in Vienna last week, maintained his late challenge for a place in London by reaching the second round.

The 21-year-old Croat, a wild-card entry, will probably need to win the tournament and do well at next week's Paris Masters to make the eight-player line-up at the O2 Arena. He is currently 12th on the points list.

Cilic, seeded fourth, beat Philipp Petzschner 6-4 6-4 but seventh seed James Blake was ousted 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 by France's Jeremy Chardy.

Fifth seed Radek Stepanek was involved in the day's longest match, the Czech needing two hours and 20 minutes to see off Florent Serra 3-6 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (7-1).

Horacio Zeballos reached his first main tour final at the St Petersburg Open at the weekend but there will be no repeat in Basel after he was beaten 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 by Richard Gasquet.

In Valencia, another player whose Tour Finals hopes took a blow was Gael Monfils - the sixth seed suffering a shock 6-2 7-5 defeat by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

But fourth seed Fernando Verdasco progressed to round two after his opponent, Spain's Oscar Hernandez, pulled out when trailing 6-1 0-1.

Verdasco is currently occupying the last of eight qualifying places for London and he will hope to continue his winning run against Janko Tipsarevic after the Serb beat Victor Hanescu 6-4 6-3.

The first man into the quarter-finals was fifth seed Gilles Simon, who battled to a 6-4 4-6 6-3 win against Tomas Berdych and kept alive his slim chance of qualifying for London.

Feliciano Lopez, meanwhile, enjoyed a 7-5 6-3 win over fellow Spaniard Alberto Martin.

In his second match since returning from injury, top seed Andy Murray faces Leonardo Mayer of Argentina on Thursday.

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see also
Murray wins on comeback in Spain
03 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Davydenko moves closer to London
02 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Title boosts Tsonga's London bid
11 Oct 09 |  Tennis

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