Tsonga storms into Beijing quarters
Date published :
06 Oct 2011 - 15:35:32
Hard-hitting top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga showed no mercy on Thursday as he demolished home hope Zhang Ze 6-3, 6-4 to march into the quarter-finals of the China Open in Beijing.
The Frenchman, who won his sixth career title last month in Metz, will next face former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain, who saw off compatriot Marcel Granollers 6-4, 6-4.
Tsonga, the world number seven, won in 76 minutes, firing eight aces and breaking his opponent's serve three times as the gap in experience and quality showed.
"What can I say?" said Tsonga. "On paper I was better than him, but on the court it's all the time different. It was not easy today and I'm happy to win, even if I was supposed to."
Ferrero, who has slipped to 84 in the world rankings, took his career record over Granollers to 5-0.
"It will be tough for me because hard court is his (Tsonga's) favourite surface. His serve is big, forehand is big -- he's always difficult to beat," said the Spaniard.
Croatian Marin Cilic stopped Italian Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-7 (1/7), 6-3, while South Africa's Kevin Anderson defeated Spaniard Albert Montanes 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4) in a tight affair.
In the women's draw, there was bitter disappointment for the second seed Victoria Azarenka, forced to pull out with a foot injury and handing a walkover win into the quarter-finals to Russian 13th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
"It's disappointing to have to withdraw. I'd been hoping that my foot would be OK, but it has been bothering me since Tokyo," said the Belarussian.
"I'm not sure about the recovery time yet, but I'll continue to consult with my doctor. I expect to be back for Luxembourg (from October 17)."
There was a routine victory for top seed Caroline Wozniacki against Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).
The 11th seed Agnieszka Radwanska stepped up her bid for a second straight Asian trophy after winning in Tokyo last week, putting out Swede Sofia Arvidsson 6-4, 6-2.
Radwanska, winner of two titles this season, remains in the hunt for a year-end finals place at the WTA Championships in Istanbul.
But the Pole admitted that burnout at this stage of the season remains a danger.
"It's always tough, especially now in the end of the year. Everybody's pretty tired and some of us are still fighting for the championships. Everybody wants to play everything, we're playing a lot.
"The season is 10 months, which is really long. It's hard to be in shape."
She next plays former number one Ana Ivanovic, the French Open winner three years ago.
Romanian Monica Niculescu, who earlier accounted for China's French Open winner Li Na, came back from a set down to beat France's Virginie Razzano 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Russian Maria Kirilenko beat Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-1, 6-2, while Italy's Flavia Pennetta advanced over Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.