ATP Cincinnati Masters: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga falls at first hurdle to Mikhail Youzhny
Last Updated: 13/08/14 9:10am
Elation soon turned disappointment for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as he crashed out in the first round of the Cincinnati Masters, succumbing to Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets, days after winning the Rogers Cup.
The world No 10 triumphed over 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in Toronto on Sunday but could not extend his excellent hardcourt form at the Western & Southern Open.
Instead, Tsonga bowed at the feet of two-time US Open semi-finalist Youzhny, who made light work of the Frenchman with a 6-1 6-4 victory.
Tsonga, seeded 12th, found himself back on court 48 hours after beating Federer to win the title in Toronto, the second at the Masters 1000 level of his career.
However, Russian veteran Youzhny took full advantage of his fresher physical condition to leave Tsonga with only one 2011 win in Cincinnati after three appearances at the last major tune-up prior to the US Open, which starts on August 25.
Youzhny broke Tsonga four times in just over an hour of play as the French player committed 21 unforced errors, with his game clearly a notch below his best which was on display at the weekend in Canada.
After beating Tsonga on the outdoor hardcourt for the first time, Youzhny will face Andreas Seppi following his victory over Santiago Giraldo.
Italian Seppi dropped the first set before rallying back to claim a 4-6 6-2 7-5 victory over the Colombian.
Elsewhere, world No 19 Marin Cilic claimed a 6-3 6-4 straight-sets victory over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
Canadian Vasek Pospisil beat Czech ace Radek Stepanek 5-7 6-1 7-6(4) to book his place in the second round.
World No 44 Dominic Thiem will not feature in the round of 32 after he lost a three-set thriller to American Robby Ginepri.
Austrian Thiem lost the first set but battled back in the second only for Ginepri to snatch a hard-fought 6-3 5-7 7-5 victory.
Ninth-seed Ernests Gulbis needed two tie-breaks to beat Ivan Dodig 7-6 (10/8) 7-6 (7/4), Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Martin Klizan 6-2 4-6 7-5 and Julien Benneteau beat Blaz Rola 6-7 (7/9) 6-3 7-6 (9/7).
In the round of 32, Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka cruised past Benjamin Becker with a 6-3 7-6 (7/5) win to seal his place in the third round.
Despite conceding 32 unforced errors, five more than his opponent, world No 4 Wawrinka prevailed against the 33-year-old German.
Wawrinka, who registered only 59 per cent of his first serves, saw off a spirited second-set comeback from Becker by winning the tie-break and will now face either Marin Cilic or Fernando Verdasco in the last 16.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic needed three sets to overcome Gilles Simon, with the Serbian eventually triumphing 6-3 4-6 6-4.
Should Djokovic triumph in Ohio this week, he would become the first singles player to complete a career sweep of all nine World Tour Masters tournaments.
He said: "I know I'm not playing at the level yet where I want to be and it's obvious, but I keep on pushing myself. Every day is a new challenge to try to look out for a better game tomorrow and after tomorrow, and hopefully it's going to come."