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Tsonga ends Djokovic challenge

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:08

Djokovic, the Australian Open champion, was ousted by home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a topsy-turvy third-round match on Centre Court.

“I know I’m not at the level I played throughout the first part of the season,” said the world number three, who beat Tsonga in the Flinders Park final in January to earn his first grand-slam title. “But that’s sport – you have your ups and downs.”

The 6-4 1-6 6-3 win kept alive Tsonga’s slim hopes of making the trip to China next month but left Djokovic licking his wounds after a second successive failure at a Masters Series event.

Tsonga advances to a last-eight tussle with Roddick, who became the sixth player to qualify for the Masters Cup thanks to his 6-3 7-5 victory over Frenchman Gilles Simon.

Simon’s Masters Cup hopes now hang in the balance. He is currently eighth in the points race but could still be overtaken by Tsonga, Nalbandian and/or James Blake.

Blake, the 11th seed, sealed his place in the quarters by defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-4 out on Court One. The American, who needs to reach the final to stand a chance of going to China, will now face second seed Roger Federer.

World number one Rafael Nadal followed his arch rival into the last eight by routing France’s Gael Monfils 6-3 6-2. Nadal will play sixth seed Nikolay Davydenko in the quarter-finals after the Russian thrashed 2005 champion Tomas Berdych 6-1 6-1 in the final third-round match on Thursday.

In the other quarter of the draw, reigning champion David Nalbandian posted an impressive victory over Juan Martin del Potro, losing just four games to his Davis Cup colleague.

Eighth seed Nalbandian, who beat Del Potro in the semi-finals in Basle, is in the kind of form that inspired him to a stunning success here 12 months ago and will meet fourth seed Andy Murray next in what is sure to be an intriguing last-eight match.

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