One of the more intriguing match-ups at the Shanghai Masters taking place on Grandstand tomorrow afternoon is the encounter between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Player Bio) and Kei Nishikori (Player Bio). It will be quite a challenge for Tsonga, who is yet to defeat the Japanese No. 1 after two previous matches in 2011-12, and will be looking to scramble for vital ranking points heading into the ATP World Tour Finals in November. Check out the Tsonga vs Fognini Head to Head.
World No. 18 Kei Nishikori has not been at his best over the past few months. Following an upset loss in the opening round of the US Open to unexpected overnight British star Daniel Evans, he failed to defend his title in Tokyo as he lost to Nicolas Almagro in the quarterfinal, which evidently dropped him seven places in the rankings to No. 18. He will be looking to redeem himself by trying to regain some valuable points and clinch a spot at the ATP World Tour Finals.
The 23-year-old began his campaign with a quick victory over Bulgarian No. 1 Grigor Dimitrov and followed it up with a narrow win over Austria’s Jurgen Melzer, where he hit four aces and 72% of his first serve points to edge out a three-set victory. The wins brought him to 23-10 record on hard courts and is 11-6 in Masters tournaments in 2013.
French No. 1 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga returned from a short injury layoff at Metz, where he attempted win a third consecutive title but succumbed to Gilles Simon in the final. Now 9th in the world rankings, Tsonga will be vying for one of the five remaining qualifying spots in the Barclays ATP World Tour Final with a strong showing at the Shanghai Masters. His first match in China came against Pablo Andujar of Spain, who he defeated in straight sets to comfortably advance to the third round. Tsonga hit 9 aces and won 25 of 31 points on his first serve to win the match in 65 minutes. The Frenchman is now 19-7 on hard courts and 11-5 in Masters 1000 tournaments.
Tsonga’s third round contest against Nishikori is certainly a tough match-up for 28-year-old, who is yet to defeat the Japanese star on the professional tour. The two met in a thrilling 5-set encounter last year at the Australian Open as well at the Shanghai Masters in 2011. Considering their history at this tournament, it will be interesting to see if Tsonga can overcome Nishikori tomorrow morning and strengthen his quest for the ATP World Tour Finals.