Paris, France – Flashy Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was a hard-fought opening-round winner Tuesday at the $3.15 million BNP Paribas Masters, the final ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament of the year.
The sixth-seeded Tsonga outlasted fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) in 2 hours, 24 minutes on the indoor hardcourts at Bercy's Palais Omnisports.
The 2008 Paris Masters titlist Tsonga lost to Roger Federer in last year's Paris Masters finale.
Also in the second round, rising star Jerzy Janowicz of Poland ousted 13th- seeded Croat Marin Cilic 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, 15th-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori topped France's Benoit Paire 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, and 16th-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka cruised past Argentine Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-2.
In opening-round action, American Sam Querrey was leading Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 1-1 when the Spanish left-hander retired on Day 2. Querrey's second-round opponent will be second-seeded soon-to-be year-end No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
In other first-round action, France's Paul-Henri Mathieu bested Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-4, 7-5; Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov doused Austrian Jurgen Melzer 7-6 (7-2), 6-2; Dutchman Igor Sijsling drove out last week's Valencia runner-up Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 6-4, 6-2; Frenchman Michael Llodra handled Spanish lucky-loser Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-5, 6-3; and France's Jeremy Chardy drilled Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-0, 6-3. Mathieu will meet third-seeded U.S. Open champion and Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, fourth-seeded Spanish star David Ferrer will face fellow countryman Marcel Granollers and seventh-seeded Argentine slugger Juan Martin del Potro will take on fellow South American Alejandro Falla of Colombia. Ferrer is fresh off his title in Valencia, while del Potro titled in Basel last week by upsetting Federer in the final in Federer's Swiss hometown.
The newest Paris Masters champion will pocket $620,000.