Shanghai: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was knocked out of the second round of the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday, losing 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-4 to Kei Nishikori of Japan.
The fourth-seeded Frenchman fought off two match points with aces before hitting a backhand long to hand Nishikori the win.
The loss will hurt Tsonga`s chances of claiming one of the four remaining spots in the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London. He currently sits in eighth position in the standings, the last qualifying spot.
Third-seeded David Ferrer of Spain defeated Canadian Milos Raonic 7-5, 7-6 (7) in another second-round match. Raonic, who has now lost to Ferrer three times this year, had a set point in the tiebreaker, but couldn`t convert.
Tsonga appeared sluggish early on, spraying forehands long and allowing Nishikori to run him around the court. Although he won the first-set tiebreaker, he was broken twice and hit only four winners to drop the second set.
The 47th-ranked Nishikori, who was 1-9 against top 10-ranked players before the match, then broke Tsonga twice more in the third set to close out the match after nearly two and a half hours.
"He`s really talented, especially when everything works," Tsonga said. "Today he didn`t miss one drop shot. He played really well. He returned unbelievable. I think nobody breaks me many times like this."
American teenager Ryan Harrison, who upset 11th-seeded Viktor Troicki in the first round, lost to fellow qualifier Matthew Ebden of Australia, 6-4, 6-2. Ebden, ranked 124th, had only won eight matches on the ATP tour coming into Shanghai.
Spain`s Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 2003 French Open champion, rallied from a set down to beat compatriot Fernando Verdasco, the 16th seed, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Ferrero had dropped out of the top 100 earlier this year due to injury layoffs, but is coming off a quarterfinal appearance at the China Open in Beijing last week.
In other second-round matches, Colombia`s Santiago Giraldo edged out 14th-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5), and Alexandr Dolgopolov, the 12th seed from Ukraine, defeated qualifier Albert Ramos of Spain, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.