Djokovic, Murray Begin Play Wednesday In Paris; Berdych, Tsonga Win Openers
Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray open second round play Wednesday at the Paris Tennis Masters, the final stop on the regular 2012 ATP calender. Djokovic, the top seed who has already locked up the year-end No. 1 for the second season, faces big serving American Sam Querrey.
“It was very difficult to follow up after 2011 and to expect, well, from myself to repeat what I’ve done in that season,” Djokovic said. “But winning one Grand Slam this year, and five titles so far and being very consistent with my results helped me to be in this position right now.
“I’m very proud of the achievements. It was a very good year for me, but it’s not over,” he added. “There are two more very important tournaments to come: indoors here in Paris Bercy, and then London next week. I just want to try to focus on those tournaments [and end] the year in the best possible way.”
Djokovic, the 2009 champion, has won his last 10 matches and 16 of 17, losing only to Murray in the US Open final.
Murray, who’s had the best second half of the season among the big names, faces French veteran Paul-Henri Mathieu, a winner today over a Spanish qualifier.
London hopefuls John Isner, Milos Raonic, Nicolas Almagro, Richard Gasquet and Janko Tipsarevic are also in action, as are David Ferrer and Juan Martin Del Potro on a busy day three in Paris.
On Tuesday,former champions Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were both victors. Tsonga advanced in a third set breaker over countryman Julien Benneteau.
“There was a lot of tension, a lot of intensity, a very complicated first round for me,” said Tsonga, the 2008 champ. “I fought until the end. I hung in there, and I’m happy for the way I pulled it out because it was not easy.”
Tsonga is now just one match win from securing a London berth.
Kei Nishikori, Stanislas Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov were also winners. Marin Cilic’s season and London dreams crashed down as the Croat fell to the 6-foot-8 Jerzy Janowicz.
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