Berdych beats Tsonga to stay in hunt for semis

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

LON­DON

To­mas Berdych re­mains in the hunt for a place in the semi-fi­nals of the ATP Tour Fi­nals af­ter the Czech fifth seed de­feated France's JoWil­fried Tsonga 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 at Lon­don's O2 Arena. Berdych, who lost his open­ing Group A fix­ture against Andy Mur­ray, now has to beat world num­ber one No­vak Djokovic on Fri­day to book his place in the last four of the pres­ti­gious sea­son-end­ing event.

The for­mer Wim­ble­don fi­nal­ist's vic­tory also means Djokovic isn't cer­tain to qual­ify yet even though the Serb main­tained his 100 per­cent record with a win over Mur­ray ear­lier on Wed­nes­day.

Tsonga isn't def­i­nitely elim­i­nated but he would need to beat Mur­ray in straight sets and hope Berdych loses by the same mar­gin against Djokovic to ad­vance. Berdych had beaten Tsonga in both of their meet­ings this year, in­clud­ing the fi­nal of the Stockholm Open, and the 27-year-old was a de­served win­ner again af­ter a blis­ter­ing fin­ish.

Tsonga hasn't de­feated a top-eight ranked player this year and once again the flam­boy­ant French­man was too in­con­sis­tent on the big points.

Berdych had a chance to take con­trol of the first set when he earned three break points in the seventh game, but Tsonga saved all three with a se­ries of boom­ing serves and pow­er­ful fore­hands.

Tsonga didn't make the most of his es­cape though as a se­ries of way­ward ground­strokes gifted Berdych the first break at 6- 5 and the Czech glee­fully seized the chance to serve out the set with an ace.

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