Tomas Berdych defeats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the ATP World Tour Finals
Tomas Berdych boosted his hopes of qualifying from Group A at the ATP World Tour Finals by beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Last Updated: 08/11/12 7:48am
The fifth-seeded Czech not only opened his account at the O2 Arena but also recorded his first triumph in London this year - he had been beaten in the first round at both Wimbledon and the Olympics.
Just as he had done against Andy Murray in his first outing in Group A, Berdych took the opening set against an opponent he had already beaten twice in 2012.
After wasting three break point chances in the seventh game, he finally edged ahead in the 11th before serving it out in style, going 1-0 up with an ace.
Tsonga, however, raised his game in the second set. Although there was a little wobble when it came to levelling matters, the Frenchman held his nerve to send the contest into a decider.
It seemed the seventh seed had momentum on his side, too, putting his rival under tremendous pressure in the opening game of the third set.
Yet Berdych dug deep to save both break points he faced, suddenly shifting the tide in his favour.
He then registered a break to go 3-1 ahead before racing through the final three games, leaving a downbeat Tsonga still searching for a first victory over a top-eight player this year.
All is not lost yet though, as Tsonga still remains alive in the group. He faces Andy Murray in his final match on Friday, while Berdych takes on unbeaten top seed Novak Djokovic; all four could yet reach the semi-finals.