- BNP Paribas Masters
Tsonga and Tipsarevic complete London lineup
Janko Tipsarevic won his last-16 contest at the BNP Paribas Masters on Thursday, but he had Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to thank as both men booked their place in the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals.
Tipsarevic's hard-fought three-set victory over Juan Monaco, coupled with results elsewhere, meant that only Tsonga's last-16 opponent, Nicolas Almagro could deny him his place in the illustrious eight-man field in London next week.
But the Spaniard was unable to keep his own dream alive, dropping two tiebreaks as Tsonga reeled off a tense 7-6(4) 7-6(3) victory to move into the quarter-finals.
It was a tough battle, with Almagro preventing Tsonga from engineering a single break point throughout a contest where both players served well. Almagro himself had three such opportunities, but was not able to take one as both sets went to a tiebreak.
There Tsonga held his nerve the better, building an early lead on each occasion and making sure to finish off the job infront of a partisan audience in Paris.
"Now I can just give my best in this tournament," Tsonga said of his qualification. "The crowd support us [French players] a lot. Some players seem to be on holiday already, but we are in France so we have to keep playing well."
Tsonga will now face David Ferrer, after the dogged Spaniard produced a trademark display to defeat Stanislas Wawrinka in the day's final match, 6-2 4-6 6-2.
It was a slightly different story for Tipsarevic, who looked to be comfortably on course for victory when he eased to the opening set, before Monaco roared back into contention to set up a decider. But Tipsarevic had a bigger goal on his mind, and that extra desire perhaps made the difference as he clinched an eventual 6-3 3-6 6-3 victory.
He will now face Poland's Jerzy Janowicz for a place in the semi-finals, after the youngster surprisingly beat Andy Murray in the day's early contest.
One of the few players who could have stolen Tipsarevic's berth in London was Milos Raonic, but the Canadian saw any hopes he had of a place at the lucrative event extinguished by Sam Querrey, who won the points that mattered in a second-set tiebreak to clinch a 6-3 7-6(1) success.
Querrey will now face Michael Llodra for a place in the final four, after the French wildcard caused another upset with a straight sets victory over seventh seed Juan Martin del Potro, 6-4 6-3.
Meanwhile, Tomas Berdych stumbled early on against Kevin Anderson but recovered in time to complete a somewhat-stressful 1-6 6-3 6-4 victory against the South African - setting up a meeting with Gilles Simon.
The Frenchman had an altogether easier passage to the quarter-finals, as scheduled opponent Kei Nishikori was forced to withdraw from the event.