By Geoff Ng and Pete Chorba
Shanghaiist dropped in on the action at the Tennis Masters Cup event last night going on over at the Qizhong Stadium. And though the crowd wasn’t especially big, it sure was lively. The crowd got behind big-serving Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first match, helping the Frenchman break Novak Djokovic’s undefeated streak in three sets, 1-6, 7-5, 6-1. Then, Argentine Juan Martin del Potro self-destructed against Russian mighty mite Nikolay Davydenko, losing 3-6, 2-6.
Djokovic and Davydenko will advance to the tournament semis (to be played Saturday), but Tsonga was the definitely the star of the night…that’s what tends to happen when you hit 227km/h(!) on one serve and nail back line judges with two others en route to an unexpected comeback victory. If you don’t believe us, check out the highlights for yourself (see vid).
As for the two other spots in the semis, they are still up for grabs.
Tonight is do or die for Roger Federer as he takes on Andy Murray. In order to advance to the semis, Federer must beat Murray, who has already secured his spot in the semis. Should four-time Masters Cup champion Federer go down to the Brit, the Frenchman Gilles Simon will advance to the next round, regardless of the outcome of his match tonight with Radek Stepanek.
If you are wondering who is Radek Stepanek and where the f**k is Andy Roddick, well, Roddick withdrew from the Master Cup with an ankle injury, joining Rafael Nadal on the sidelines.
Tomorrow’s also the last day that 50RMB student tickets will be available, so be sure to take advantage if you’ve still got that old student ID lying around (or, probably more likely, friends/coworkers/friends with benefits still in school).
6PM: Radek Stepanek (CZE) vs Gilles Simon (FRA)
8PM: Roger Federer (SUI) vs Andy Murray (GBR)