Del Potro, Tsonga win again, stay alive for London

Pablo Carreno Busta, Sam Querrey, and Kevin Anderson have left the door to the World Tour Finals cracked open. Juan Martin Del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are still trying to slide through it.

Fresh off respective titles in Stockholm and Antwerp, Del Potro and Tsonga maintained their hot streaks with quarterfinal wins on Friday. Del Potro got the best of Roberto Bautista 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 to reach the Swiss Indoors Basel semis, while Tsonga upset Alexander Zverev 7-6(6), 6-2 for a berth in the last four at the Erste Bank Open.

The 2009 U.S. Open champion, whose recent hot streak also includes semifinal showings in New York and Shanghai, needed two hours and one minute to beat Bautista Agut. Apparently hobbled by a minor back injury, Del Potro gave back a break midway through the final set but broke again at 4-4 before serving it out.

“It was a really hard match,” the 19th-ranked Argentine admitted. “Bautista played some unbelievable shots the whole match. We played at a great level and I survived and I’m still alive to qualify for London. I know I am getting closer and closer to qualifying, but I need to keep winning here and in Paris. We’ll then see if I qualify or not.”

Interview:

Del Potro has received help this week from Carreno Busta, Querrey, and Anderson, who remain ahead of him in the race for the final two places at the O2 Arena. Querrey and Anderson fell in the Vienna first round, while Carreno Busta lost in the Vienna second round to Diego Schwartzman.

Tsonga still has a chance of advancing to the title match out of Carreno Busta’s half of the bracket. The 15th-ranked Frenchman ousted the top-seeded Zverev after one hour and 32 minutes, firing 10 aces while also benefiting from seven Zverev double-faults.

In order to qualify for the World Tour Finals, Tsonga likely has to win the Vienna title and also make a deep run at next week’s Paris Masters. If Tsonga fails to lift the Vienna winner’s trophy, he will have to reach at least the Paris final.

Next up for the No. 8 seed is Philipp Kohlschreiber, who took out Schwartzman 7-5, 7-6(6). Del Potro will face Marin Cilic, a 7-6(3), 5-7, 7-6(4) winner over Marton Fucsovics.

Vienna highlights:


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