9 Nov 2011

Berdych and Tsonga closer to places in ATP Tour finals

12:46 pm on 9 November 2011

Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are just one win from securing places in the season-ending ATP World Tour finals after they safely moved into the third round of the Paris Masters tennis tournament.

Czech Berdych, who will book his ticket for the event in London later this month if he reaches the quarter-finals at Bercy, dismissed Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in straight sets, while Frenchman Tsonga, also needing a last-eight berth to qualify, beat another Spaniard, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, in straight sets.

Verdasco will play in Auckland early next year.

Seven players are vying for the three remaining spots for the World Tour finals.

World number one Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, who has pulled out of the Bercy tournament, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and David Ferrer have already qualified.

Fifth seed Berdych will next face either 11th seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia or American Alex Bogomolov Jr, while local favourite Tsonga, seeded six, will be up against either Spaniard Nicolas Almagro or Italian Andreas Seppi.

Tonight, top seed Djokovic will start his Paris campaign with a second-round meeting with Croatian Ivan Dodig.

Murray and Federer, who have never won the Paris indoor tournament, will also be in action, against Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Adrian Mannarino respectively.