Fifth seed Tsonga dumped out of US Open as draw opens up for Murray
20:52 GMT, 30 August 2012
Unheralded Slovakian Martin Klizan caused the shock of the tournament as he knocked out fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round of the US Open.
The Frenchman, who had been seeded to meet Olympic champion Andy Murray in the quarter-finals, was horribly out of sorts and crashed out 6-4 1-6 6-1 6-3.
Tsonga, a quarter-finalist here last
year and a semi-finalist at Wimbledon last month, looked like he had
turned things around in the second set but instead Klizan pulled away
again in the third.
Shock: Martin Klizan stunned Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the US Open
The Slovakian then opened up a 4-0 lead in the fourth set and, although Tsonga responded to reduce the deficit to 4-3, it was not good enough.
Klizan, ranked 52nd in the world, has
had a good season but had never beaten anyone close to the calibre of
Tsonga before and lost to Britain's Dan Evans in the Davis Cup earlier
Nicolas Almagro had to fight back from two sets to one down to defeat
German Philipp Petzschner 6-3 5-7 5-7 6-4 6-4 while 17th seed Kei
Nishikori beat Tim Smyczek of the US 6-2 6-2 6-4.
It was Tsonga's earliest exit at a
grand slam since the Australian Open in 2007, and he did not have much
of an explanation for his poor performance.
The Frenchman said: 'In the second
set I played well. But at the beginning of the second set also it was
dangerous for me, and finally I came back.
'Today I was not in good shape. I
didn't play good tennis. It seemed like I couldn't hit the ball hard
enough to put my opponent out of position. I don't really know why it
was like this today, but sometimes it happens with me.
Struggles: Tsonga had been seeded to play Britain's Andy Murray later in the tournament
'I'm disappointed but it's tennis. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Of course, it's always sad when you lose but I will wait for another good moment. I will forget it.'
Tsonga denied he was carrying any injuries, although fatigue is clearly taking its toll on a lot of players, while he admitted the dominance of the top four in men's tennis can be dispiriting.
He said: 'We have to play every week. I'm not a machine. Sometimes I'm tired, sometimes not. Sometimes in good shape, sometimes not. That's it.
'I work hard every week. I give a lot of myself every day. I never get rewards. That's why sometimes it's tough.'
Klizan, who is likely to face another Frenchman, 32nd seed Jeremy Chardy, in the next round, was understandably thrilled with his breakthrough victory.
The 23-year-old said: “He's number six in the world and I beat him.
Comeback: Mardy Fish fought back well to beat Nikolay Davydenko
'I feel great. I'm very happy. I think it's my best result in my career and I'm looking forward to playing Saturday in the third round. There is a chance to win again.'
American Mardy Fish, the 23rd seed, became the 10th player to recover from two sets down to win against Russia's Nikolay Davydenko, a new record for the US Open.
Fish proved the tougher in sweltering conditions on Arthur Ashe Stadium to win 4-6 6-7 (4/7) 6-2 6-1 6-2 while 30th seed Feliciano Lopez narrowly avoided the same fate, beating fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-4 6-1 6-7 (5/7) 3-6 7-5.
Almagro, meanwhile, will meet American teenager Jack Sock after he reached round three at a grand slam for the first time with a 6-2 6-2 6-4 victory over Flavio Cipolla of Italy.