Shanghai: Big-serving Jo-Wilfried Tsonga crashed out of the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday, beaten by Japan's Kei Nishikori 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 4-6.
The number four seed appeared to be on his way to a straightforward win when he stepped up the intensity of his game to seal the first set tie-break with the loss of just one point.
But world number 47 Nishikori, who needed courtside treatment on his back, broke Tsonga twice in the second set, levelling the match when the Frenchman netted with a forehand.
Nishikori, who has a poor record against top 10 players, produced two more breaks in the deciding set, taking advantage of an error-strewn performance by Tsonga and sealing the win on his third match point.
The defeat puts a serious dent in the Frenchman's bid to reach next month's ATP World Tour Finals in London. He came into the Shanghai Masters in eighth place in the race to reach the showpiece, featuring the top eight players of the year.