Sock Dents Thiem's London Hopes
Tsonga also advances on Wednesday
Jack Sock scored an upset 6-2, 6-4 second-round win on Wednesday over sixth seed Dominic Thiem at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, putting a potential damper on the Austrian’s bid to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Thiem is currently No. 8 in the Emirates ATP Race To London with 3,215 points. Marin Cilic (3,180) and Tomas Berdych (2,970) could potentially overtake him for one of two remaining spots in London with strong showings this week. David Goffin (2,780) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2,380) are also still in contention to appear at The O2.
Sock put on a dominant serving display, firing eight aces and winning 91 per cent of his first service points. He didn’t face a break point in the contest, while converting on all three of his break opportunities. He improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Thiem to 1-2.
Next up for Sock is No. 12 seed Richard Gasquet. Sock leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0, with both wins coming in 2015.
No. 11 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also kept his hopes alive of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Tsonga fired 14 aces and didn’t face a break point in the match, while accumulating nine of his own against the Spaniard.
“I’ve won most of my tournaments here in France, so for me it’s good to be here,” said Tsonga. “It’s really positive to be here in front of my home crowd.”
Although Tsonga is still in contention to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with a strong showing in Paris, he said his focus for now is excelling in front of the local crowd.
“I’m not thinking about it all,” said Tsonga. “This is my last tournament of the year for the moment, so I will give my best. I hope to continue to play good tennis and hope to win.”
Gilles Simon delighted the local crowd by saving three match points to upset No. 10 seed Roberto Bautista Agut, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(6). The Spaniard led 5-3 in the final set and held three match points on his serve at 5-4, but Simon fought back to force a deciding tie-break. The Frenchman couldn’t convert on a match point at 6/5, but made good on his second chance to wrap up the match.
Bautista Agut has now been eliminated from contention to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The Spaniard could have made his debut appearance at The O2 by winning the title in Paris.
Next up in the third-round for Simon is a familiar foe in seventh seed Tomas Berdych. Simon leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 7-5. Berdych is still in the hunt to grab one of the two remaining spots for London.