Tsonga edges past Benneteau at Paris
PARIS — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the third round of the Paris Masters with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (2) win over Julien Benneteau on Tuesday.
The 2008 champion needed nearly 21/2; hours to get past Benneteau and was forced into a final-set tiebreaker after failing to serve out the match.
Benneteau only converted three of his 11 break points against the hard-serving Tsonga, who hit a total of 15 aces — five in each set.
Fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic also reached the third round after beating Andreas Seppi 7-6 (8), 6-2.
After a closely fought first set, Berdych took firm control of the match by jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the second.
Three other Frenchmen won in the first round, all against Spaniards. Jeremy Chardy cruised past Guillermo Garcia Lopez 6-0, 6-3, Paul-Henri Mathieu beat Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-4, 7-5, and Michael Llodra defeated Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-5, 6-3.
However, Benoit Paire lost 7-6 (2), 6-2 to 15th-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan in the second round.
Earlier, qualifier Jerzy Janowicz of Poland pulled off another upset when he beat 13th-seeded Marin Cilic 7-6 (6), 6-2 to set up a potential third-round match against U.S. Open champion Andy Murray.
Janowicz, who knocked out 19th-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round on Monday, did even better against the big-serving Croat and never faced a break point.
It was the 21-year-old Janowicz's first victory against a top-15 player.
Tuesday's other second-round match saw 16th-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka cruise past Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-2.
In other first-round action, Grigor Dimitrov beat Jurgen Melzer 7-6 (2), 6-2 and Igor Sijsling defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-2, while Sam Querrey of the United States advanced after Fernando Verdasco retired when trailing 6-1, 1-1.
Tournament of Champions
At Sofia, Bulgaria, Caroline Wozniacki and Roberta Vinci had easy straight-set victories in their first round-robin matches at the season-ending Tournament of Champions.
The top-seeded Wozniacki defeated Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan 6-2, 6-2 in 60 minutes while it took Vinci five minutes longer to rout Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova 6-1, 6-2.
Wozniacki converted all five of her break points and only lost her serve once, in the second set.
"I always try to finish my matches in two sets and I am happy that this time it worked," said Wozniacki, who is coming off titles in Seoul and Moscow. "I will try to finish this season with a hat trick."
The fourth-seeded Vinci dominated throughout, breaking five times. The two traded breaks to start the second set, but the Italian then jumped out to a 4-1 lead to take control.
Wozniacki will play Vinci on Wednesday, with the winner likely clinching a spot in Saturday's semifinals. The first two in each group advance.
In the other group, Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova came from behind to dispatch sixth-seeded Zheng Jie of China 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4). Pironkova took a 3-0 lead in the third set before being forced into a tiebreaker.
The Tournament of Champions features the six highest-ranked players who have won a title during the season but did not qualify for the WTA Championships, along with two wild cards.
It is the final event on the WTA calendar.