- POSTED: 11 Oct 2013 16:32
- UPDATED: 11 Oct 2013 18:34
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Powerful Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga brushed aside the challenge of Germany's Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters on Friday.
SHANGHAI: Powerful Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro breezed into the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters on Friday, earning valuable wins as they chase berths at the World Tour Finals.
Seventh seed Tsonga broke his 50th-ranked opponent twice in the opening set and again in the eighth game of the second set to secure a comfortable 6-2, 6-3 victory in just 64 minutes against Germany's Florian Mayer.
He next faces either top seed Novak Djokovic or fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils, the conqueror of Roger Federer.
Tsonga, who landed just 54 per cent of his first serves but saved all four break points he faced, admitted he was not quite 100 percent fit after problems with his knee, which forced him out of the US Open.
But he believes he would have a fighting chance against the top seed even though he has lost his past six matches against the Serb.
"He was the number one for many, many weeks, and he was playing well, he was confident," said Tsonga, 28.
"I think he lost more matches this year than the other years, so maybe it's an opportunity for me."
Del Potro, who had a walkover in the previous round, was equally impressive, firing 27 winners and making just eight unforced errors in a dominant 6-3, 6-3 win against Nicolas Almagro, the Spanish 15th seed.
The Argentine sixth seed, 25, stamped his authority on the match with an early break and sealed the first set with another, while a single break in the second set proved enough.
World number one Rafael Nadal, who plays Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka, remains on course for a final showdown against Djokovic
The top eight players of the season qualify for the World Tour Finals in London, with five places still up for grabs. Del Potro, Wawrinka, Tsonga and Almagro are all pushing for slots in the elite field.
Federer, who has won the showpiece a record six times, is in grave danger of missing out this year after his third-round defeat on Thursday to Monfils.