Japan’s number 1 male tennis player Kei Nishikori spoiled eight seed Jo-Wilson Tsonga’s dream of qualifying for the ATP Tour World finals when he beat the Frenchman 1-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(7) in the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters (Paris Masters) on Tuesday in Paris. The world number 19 will be facing another Frenchman, Richard Gasquet in the third round of the tournament.
Nishikori was leading 4-1 in the second set after losing a lopsided first set, but he blew his lead, up until a string of 26 unforced errors from the Frenchman led to a tiebreaker to force a third set. The Japanese tennis ace failed to hold on to his serve courtesy of two double faults en route to the final tiebreaker. Nishikori had to come back from two match points in the third set tie-break, with his opponent serving a double-fault and then the Japanese serving an ace to stay in the match. Tsonga made his eight double-fault of the match during Nishikori’s own match point, ensuring his entry into the third round. Tsonga, a winner here in 2008, said he could have won the match if not for Nishikori’s solid play during the most crucial moments of the match.
Nishikori was ranked as high as number 12 in July this year, but successive early round losses in tournaments, particularly the US Open, saw him slip to 19 this month. The Paris Masters will be a tough tournament for him as he is in the same draw as World Number 1 Rafael Nadal. If he survives his match against Gasquet, he will face the Spaniard in the quarterfinals.
[ via ATP World Tour ]
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan