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Tsonga into Paris semis after Djokovic withdrawal

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Originally published on: 11/11/11 10:13

Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the BNP Paribas Masters after revealing that his shoulder injury worsened following his third round victory over Viktor Troicki.

In a somewhat inevitable decision given his recent struggles with the injury, the world No.1 announced on his website that he will play no further part in the Paris Masters 1000 event, posting:

“Dear fans and friends, sadly I have to inform you that I have withdrawn from the further tournament. I have pushed myself to the limit by playing, and after the match yesterday my shoulder got worse.

“For this reason, I have to put my health first and withdraw even though my urges as a professional player are making me want to play until the last drop of energy.

“I am very sorry for all of you who bought tickets and wanted to come to watch me play. My season has been long and tiring, I played all of my matches at my highest level, and now my body is aching for recovery.”

The decision means home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the Serb’s quarter-final opponent in Paris, has advanced to the semi-finals of the event he won in 2008.

It’s a second dose of good news for the Frenchman, who joined Mardy Fish and Tomas Berdych as the final men to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Berdych took responsibility for completing the line up for the November 20-27 event, beating Janko Tipsarevic in straight sets at the BNP Paribas Masters to send Tsonga and Fish through.

The 6’5” Czech ended the Serb’s slim hopes of qualification with a 7-5 6-4 victory at the final Masters 1000 event of the year to secure his second consecutive appearance in London and the first for Fish and Tsonga.

Fish was particularly delighted to cap his career-best year with a place in the elite eight in London, tweeting: “We did it! I see you London! I just want to thank the USTA for all their support. Could not have done it without them.”

Hours later there were worrying signs for the American, who was forced to retire from his third round bout with Juan Monaco at 2-1 up in the second set after a recurrence of the hamstring injury that saw him pull out after just one game against James Blake in Basel last week.

But Fish is adamant that the injury won’t stop him playing at the O2 Arena.

“I’ll certainly play in London,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that. Even if it’s torn I’m still going to try and play. But I’d like it to be at a level that I want to compete at.”

Meanwhile, Berdych, who won one round robin match, against Andy Roddick, on his first appearance in London in 2010, will continue his preparations for London with a quarter-final clash against Andy Murray in Paris on Friday.

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