Wawrinka and Tsonga humbled in Japan

Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:44am EDT
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TOKYO (Reuters) - Tatsuma Ito and Michal Przysiezny claimed the biggest wins of their careers at the Japan Open on Tuesday when the local wildcard knocked out top seed Stan Wawrinka and the Polish qualifier saved match points to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

World number 103 Ito sealed the stunning 7-5 6-2 first-round victory on his second match point, cushioning a backhand volley into an open court after his wide serve had forced Wawrinka out of position.

"I played a very good match," Ito said. "It is the first time I have beaten a top-five player.

"I tried my best every point and I was very focused. I was a little nervous, but I stuck to my game and I finished well."

Australian Open winner Wawrinka struggled throughout the contest at the ATP 500 event, dropping serve four times and hitting 25 unforced errors in his first tour event since losing to Ito's compatriot Kei Nishikori at the U.S. Open this month.

Wawrinka, who helped Switzerland reach the Davis Cup final two weeks ago, lost his serve in the third game on the Tokyo hard court, only to break back and hold for a 5-4 lead in the first set.

However, the 29-year-old failed to take advantage as the Japanese, who has never made an ATP final and had only two previous wins on tour this year, took the set and an early lead in the second with a run of five straight games.

Wawrinka threatened a break back at 3-2 down but the busy Ito, wearing his baseball cap back to front, survived the scare and broke the Swiss once again as he confidently finished off the match against a dejected opponent.

"It was not a good day at the office. He started well and then I was trying to come back in the match," Wawrinka said.   Continued...

Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka returns a ball during his Davis Cup semi-final tennis match against Italy's Fabio Fognini at the Palexpo in Geneva September 12, 2014. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy