Header Ads

With a Roof Overhead, Tsonga Is Stronger

Two of last week’s champions met in the second round of the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna, and only one could continue his pursuit of another trophy.

After saving a match point in the second-set tie-break, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continued his indoor excellence by defeating Moscow winner Damir Dzumhur, 6-7(5), 7-6(7), 6-1 to boost his hopes of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals for the third time (2011, 2012).

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continues his London charge with a three-set victory against Damir Dzumhur.
The 2011 Vienna champion extended his ATP World Tour-best record indoors to 18-2 this year, reaching his ninth quarter-final of the season. But perhaps most importantly, he continued a late charge in the Emirates ATP Race To London.

The Frenchman is 15th in the Race, but with Stan Wawrinka (No. 7), Novak Djokovic (No. 10) and Andy Murray (No. 13) both out for the season due to injury, Tsonga has an opportunity to make up ground. No. 11 Sam Querrey and No. 12 Kevin Anderson both lost their Vienna openers this week. A second victory at the event and a fifth title this season would propel Tsonga past Anderson with his home ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Paris coming up next week.

The match was intense through two sets, with Dzumhur keeping Tsonga's powerful game at bay. But after the Frenchman raised his level to take complete control of rallies toward the end of the second set, things went downhill for Dzumhur. The Bosnian and Herzegovinian held for 1-1 in the third set, but Tsonga won 12 straight points to break the match open and roll in the decider against a frustrated opponent.

Diego Schwartzman helped Tsonga’s London hopes earlier in the day by stalling the No. 9 player in the Race’s attempts to qualify for his first Nitto ATP Finals, defeating Spanish fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

It was payback for the Argentine, who lost to Carreno Busta in the quarter-finals of this year’s US Open in straight sets. Schwartzman seeks his second title, and his first this season.

Carreno Busta is still in the final qualifying spot in the Race with 2,605 points, but his loss opened the door for some of his closest competitors. The No. 14 player in the Race, Juan Martin del Potro, who won on Thursday to advance to the quarter-finals of the Swiss Indoors Basel, can now move into the final spot with a title run this week, which would bring him to 2,615 points.

The Spaniard’s loss also allowed the likes of Tsonga, Querrey and Anderson to stay in touch, which should make for an exciting finale in the Race with just over a week remaining.

But the win of the day went to Richard Gasquet, who ousted the second seed, Dominic Thiem, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in a matchup between two of the best one-handed backhands in the world.

The Austrian was attempting to win a title on home soil for the first time. In fact, he was seeking his first quarter-final appearance in Vienna since 2013, when he lost in a third-set tie-break against the top seed, Tsonga.

In beating the No. 6 player in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Thiem, Gasquet broke a five-match losing streak against the Top 10. His last victory was over sixth-ranked Kei Nishikori in the Round of 16 at Roland Garros last season. He will next face compatriot Lucas Pouille, who defeated qualifier Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 6-3, 7-6(8) on Thursday.

The last time the Frenchmen met was on home soil earlier this year at the Open 13 Marseille, where Pouille defeated his elder, 7-5, 6-3. Pouille leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 2-1.

Source: https://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/tsonga-thiem-schwartzman-vienna-2017-thursday

No comments

Powered by Blogger.