at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Berlin - Top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga crashed out of the ATP tournament in Berlin on Wednesday, beaten 6-1, 6-4 by former German number one Tommy Haas in their second-round clash.
Haas, who was as high as number two in the world in 2002 but has slid to 134 in the rankings after suffering several injuries, tore into world number five Tsonga's serve, breaking him in both the second and fourth games of the first set.
Tsonga, who has not played since losing to compatriot Gilles Simon in the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals, put up more of a fight in the second set but Haas made the break in the fifth game to go 3-2 up and held on to claim the win.
“Simply said it was that Tommy played better than me,” said Tsonga.
“He didn't allow me any time to express myself, or to control the ball.
“It wasn't down to a lack of practice as I put in two two-hour sessions and normally that is sufficient.
“Obviously conditions are different when you are practising and playing a competitive match, the court as well. But I played well at Monte-Carlo and before that in the Davis Cup so I was match ready.”
Haas, who is now a naturalised American, will play Cyprus's 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis in the quarterfinals.
Tsonga for his part will move on to the Rome Masters to fine tune his preparation for the French Open which begins later this month. - Sapa-AFP