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Nishikori falls to Tsonga

Fifth seed Kei Nishikori suffered a last-16 exit at the Paris Masters despite a flying start against local favourite Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.

Nishikori falls to Tsonga
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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Paris

The top Asian star from Japan opened the match in style on Thursday, leading for the majority of the third-round encounter and nailing down the first set 6-0 in just 22 minutes, reports Xinhua news agency.

Tsonga, however, rebounded strongly by grabbing the break of serve in the second set to level the match.

Nishikori broke Tsonga at 4-3 in the deciding third set but the latter showed remarkable fighting spirit to save two match points and prevail 0-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3).

"We are here to give our best, so that first set didn't go well for me. I made double faults, things like that, but it was because I want to do well," Tsonga said. "But little by little, I was able to get settled. My confidence came back and I was able to play better."

The 11th-seeded Frenchman will next play fourth seed Milos Raonic, who overcame No. 16 seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay earlier in the day, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Tsonga also keeps his hopes alive of qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals alongside Austrian Dominic Thiem and Czech Tomas Berdych.

Earlier on Thursday, Marin Cilic claimed a straight-sets win over David Goffin to lock down a London berth, leaving just one spot up for grabs.

Cilic needed six match points before seeing off the Belgian 6-3, 7-6 (9).

Cilic joined field for the ATP year-end championships alongside Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and Gael Monfils.

The quest for the No. 1 spot continues between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, as they beat their respective opponents to reach the quarterfinals in Paris.

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