PARIS (AP) — Kei Nishikori of Japan put an end to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's bid for a World Tour Finals spot by defeating the Frenchman 1-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7) on Tuesday in the second round of the Paris Masters.
In other second-round matches, Richard Gasquet of France outlasted Fernando Verdasco of Spain 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-3 to stay in contention for the tournament in London.
Last year's runner-up Jerzy Janowicz of Poland beat Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo 7-6 (3), 6-3, and Novak Djokovic of Serbia ousted French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6 (3), 6-3.
In the tiebreaker of the final set, the eighth-seeded Tsonga wasted his first match point by double-faulting. Nishikori fired an ace to save a second match point and then won the match when Tsonga made his eighth double-fault.
Nishikori blew a 4-1 lead in the second set but capitalized on a string of unforced errors from the 2008 champion in the tiebreaker to even the match.
"I believe he managed well, because I could have won that match," Tsonga said. "He was very solid, especially during the important moments of the match."
The ninth-seeded Gasquet also labored but he converted his fifth match point when Verdasco sent a backhand long.
Verdasco hit two service winners to save two match points at 6-5 in the second set. The Spaniard then erased seven break points in the final set before dropping serve at 3-all with a wide forehand.
"It's sort of a gift for me to be here and contend for a World Tour Finals spot," Gasquet said. "It rewards a good season."
Ranked 189th in the world and playing just his second tournament on the main tour, Herbert forced Djokovic to save two set points at 6-5. The second-seeded Serb then took a 5-2 lead in the tiebreaker and went a set up when Herbert netted a forehand.
Djokovic, who won the Paris Masters in 2009, led 5-0 in the second set and held off a late charge from Herbert to seal the victory when the Frenchman's forehand return sailed long.