Jo Wilifred-Tsonga picked up his third title of the year after winning the Rakutan Japan Open by defeating Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-3.
Tsonga’s first serve percentage of over seventy percent helped him control play in both sets. Youzhny did have a great event taking out both Gilles Simon and Lleyton Hewitt. Hopefully Youzhny will take this good week to get his career in gear after flirting with the top twenty for a while.
Tsonga is again playing well at year’s end in hopes of qualifying for London. And with Roddick losing early in China, Tsonga stands a good chance of passing Roddick in the rankings depending on how things shake out in Shanghai and Paris where Tsonga is defending champion.
But in the race for London, Roddick probably just has a win a match of two to qualify. After him in the race is Fernando Verdasco, Fernando Gonzalez, Jo Wilifred-Tsonga and Gilles Simon.
And nice touch at the end to have Queen’s “We Are The Champions” playing during the trophy ceremony. Perhaps the ATP should get an “Official” song for trophy event?
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I was going to originally call this post “DelPo Pulls a “Safina”, but it would be unfair to compare Juan Martin Del Potro’s early round loss in the Japan Open to Safina’s current misery tour.
Citing jet leg and a mild stomach ailment (and probably a nice “hangover” from celebrating his U.S. Open), Del Potro lost to qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 6-4, 6-4.
Although the other top seeds including Gilles Simon and Lleyton Hewitt got through their matches, one has to feel for the tournament organizers after what has been almost a “nightmare” two weeks. First the ladies event is plagued with early round exits by the big names and then a final cut short by Jelena Jankovic’s injury. Now the men’s event, which suffered two withdrawals from top seeds Roger Federer and Andy Murray, loses its top seed early.
But this could be an opportunity for those players like Simon and Jo-Wilifred Tsonga still looking to qualify for the end of the year ATP Series Finale in London.
Lost in the Del Potro news was Andy Roddick’s rather flat showing in the opening round of the China Open. Roddick lost to Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot 6-2, 6-4.
So with all eyes now pointing to Shanghai to sort out the ATP Finale, who do you think will qualify?