Tsonga injury boosts Verdasco’s Finals hopes
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:49
Fernando Verdasco saw his prospects of reaching this month’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals improve dramatically when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was forced to pull out of the Valencia Open with injury.
The Frenchman, currently trailing Verdasco who occupies the final qualifying spot for London, faces a race to be fit for next week’s BNP Paribas Masters 1000 after retiring against Mikhail Youzhny with a left wrist injury.
The No.3 seed had taken the first set on a tie-break but did not win another game before calling it a day with Youzhny leading 6-7(3) 6-0 3-0.
The world No.9 now faces a race against time to play in Paris, where he is the defending champion, otherwise his bis to qualify for the World Tour Finals is all but over.
Verdasco had a much easier time of things in his first-round match against Oscar Hernandez, losing only two games before his opponent retired with the Spaniard leading 6-1 0-1.
Gilles Simon, still in with a long shot of appearing at the O2, kept his faint hopes alive with a hard-fought 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory over Tomas Berdych to become the first man to reach the quarter-finals.
No.6 seed Gael Monfils was another second-round casualty, though, the Frenchman going down 6-2 7-5 to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Elsewhere, Janko Tipsarevic beat Victor Hanescu 6-4 6-3, while Feliciano Lopez came through an all-Spanish encounter, seeing off qualifier Alberto Martin 7-5 6-3.