ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch wild-card entry Igor Sijsling stunned eighth-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 Monday in the first round of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
Sijsling, who lost in the doubles final of the Australian Open this year, used a powerful serve and volley game to beat the third-seeded Tsonga. The first set went with serve the 77th-ranked Sijsling easily won the tiebreaker.
The Dutchman had two break points at 4-3 in the second set, but wasted them both with forehand errors to allow Tsonga to level at 4-4. Tsonga made the most of his let-off by breaking Sijsling in the next game and serving out for the set.
Sijsling said he suffered "a mental dip" after that, but managed to rally himself for the final set, breaking Tsonga in the 10th game for the memorable win. He called it "maybe the greatest" victory of his career, "at home, against a top-10 player, in front of this crowd."
In the second round, Sijsling will face Martin Klizan of Slovakia, who beat Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 earlier Monday. Fifth-seeded Gilles Simon beat Belgian qualifier Daniel Brands 7-6 (3), 6-4 despite struggling with his serve in the first set on the indoor hardcourt at Ahoy arena.
Simon broke Brands once to take the second set and wrap up the match in 92 minutes. In the tournament's first upset, Romania's Victor Hanescu beat seventh-seeded Jerzy Janowicz of Poland 7-6 (4), 6-3, while Bernard Tomic of Australia lost a hard-fought first round-match to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
In the last match of the day, Nikolay Davydenko beat eighth-seeded Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-2. Roger Federer opens the defense of his ABN AMRO title on Wednesday.