ATP Monte-Carlo 2014: Tsonga wins a third round mental game - UBITENNIS
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ATP Monte-Carlo 2014: Tsonga wins a third round mental game

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Tennis – ATP Monte-Carlo 2014 Jo-Wilfred Tsonga qualified for tomorrow’s quarter finals by defeating Italian clay specialist Fabio Fognini 5-7 6-4 6-0 in a match decided by mentality more than game. Giulio Gasparin

 

The French number one recovered from a set down and was forced to save several break points early in the second set before going on a roll until the very end.

Fognini, who was the player with most wins on clay this season, left the court of the Principality extremely disappointed for a match that was on his racket for a set and a half, before a sudden black out.

The plot of the match was highlighted by the very first point, when Tsonga hit a second serve ace, but the 10th seed started already to complain about the bad call. This later became the norm.

Tsonga started the first set looking solid from the baseline as he found an early break for a 2-0 lead, but Fognini’s reaction came fast and from that moment on it was all decided by the Italian.

Clearly the most apt to clay between the two, Fognini exploited his movements and talent to turn defence into offence and promptly went up 5-4 40-15 behind his serve.

Suddenly the world number 13 felt tight and tried something more to close the set, but this resulted in a double fault and two very awkward charged to the net.

Tsonga broke back but his comeback did not last long enough, as the Italian found the cool and with some outstanding aggressive tennis managed to break once more.

Despite another horrid miss on the first set point, this time Fognini closed the set and looked as if he was about to score a routine win.

Tsonga tried to step inside the baseline more and more often as he realised that he stood no chances against the Italian from behind, but the tactic seemed to work only partially.

Fognini kept holding easily, but he seemed to fail finding the way for a break despite the many chances.

The seventh game of the second set finally turned out to be fundamental for the final result.

Fognini tried everything to find the decisive break, but a combination of a few crucial mistakes and good serves from the French man resulted in a hold for Tsonga.

The ninth seed broke the Italian at his very first break point of the set and then went on serving out to love for the set.

The break point was forced to be replayed though, because of a bad call from a linesman, when the point was almost safely in the hands of Fognini.

The Italian went to the umpire asking for that line judge to be changed, but it did not happen and as if that mattered more than the match to him, the Italian suddenly started to unravel.

His number of errors grew together with his monologues between points, while Tsonga was gaining confidence and did not let the chance slip away from his hands.

It was the beginning of an outstanding streak of points that lasted for 17 of them, while Fognini was digging his hole deeper and deeper into bad mood.

Fognini called the supervisor asking once again for that judge to be changed, then required the trainer for a leg injury and kept moaning about one man in the stands.

Despite the show staged by the Italian, Tsonga managed to keep the head focused and kept playing some stunning tennis to go up 3-0 and serve.

From that moment on, Fognini made an absolute joke of himself as he stopped even trying to win any point.

He kept his moaning up though and by the end he found himself arguing with the crowd, while Tsonga silently conquered the last point and earned a place in the quarter finals.

The French man is set to face the winner of Roger Federer against Lukas Rosol.

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Marin Cilic rallies from one set down to beat Ilya Ivashka in Marseille

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Marin Cilic came back from one set down to beat Ilya Ivashka 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 at the Open 13 in Marseille to secure his spot in the second round, where he will face Denis Shapovalov. Cilic tied 1-1 in his two head-to-head matches against Shapovalov.

 

Ivashka won the opening set with his only break in the sixth game. Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set and saved break points in the sixth and seventh games at deuce. Cilic earned three set points at 6-3 in the tie-break and converted his third chance to win the tie-break 7-5. Cilic earned a double break in the third and fifth games to race out to a 5-1 lead. Ivashka pulled one break back on his second chance to close the gap to 3-5. Cilic sealed the win on his first chance.

Aljaz Bedene from Slovenia came back from one set down to fifth seed Karen Khachanov 4-6 6-4 7-5 to reach the second round Khachanov earned his only break in the opening game at deuce to win the first set 6-4. Bedene converted his third break point chance at deuce to win the second set 6-4. Bedene earned the only break in the 12th game to win the third set 7-5. Bedene beat Khachanov for the first time in his career.

Gilles Simon beat his compatriot Harold Mayot 6-4 7-6 (7-3). Simon earned his second break point chance to win the first set 6-4. Both players traded breaks in the third and fourth games and held their serve en route to the tie-break. Simon earned two early mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3.

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Jannik Sinner beats Norbert Gombos to set up second round clash against Danil Medvedev in Marseille

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Last year’s Next Gen Finals champion and world number 68 Jannik Sinner beat Slovakia’s Norbert Gombos 6-4 7-6 (7-5) at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.

 

Sinner went down 1-4 in the tie-break of the second set. The Italian player saved all six break points he faced and did not face any break points in the 2-hour and nine-minute match.

Last week Sinner scored his first top 10 win against David Goffin in Rotterdam to reach his maiden ATP 500 quarter final.

The first set went on serve until the 10th game, when Sinner earned three consecutive set points with a backhand lob and sealed the opening set 6-4 with a break at love.

Sinner saved a break point in the first game of the second set with an ace. He saved another break point with an ace. Gombos earned two two more break points, but Sinner saved them with a forehand and and an ace. Sinner saved two break points to force to set up a tie-break. Gombos went up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break, but Sinner came back by winning six of the next seven games to win the tie-break 7-5.

Sinner set up a second round match against 2019 US Open finalist Danil Medvedev, who reached the quarter finals on his tournament debut in 2017.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz cruised past France’s Antoine Hoang 6-4 6-1 in just 64 minutes. Hurkacz dropped just points on his first serve to set up a second round match against Canada’s Vasek Pospisil.

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Mikael Ymer overcomes Richard Gasquet to advance to the second round in Marseille

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Swedish 21-year-old Next Gen player Mikael Ymer edged past Richard Gasquet 6-3 3-6 7-5 after 2 hours and 22 minutes to reach the second round at the Open 13 in Marseille.

 

Ymer fended off 7 of the 10  break points he faced and broke serve in the third match point in a marathon third game setting up a second round clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Ymer raced out to a 4-0 lead with two consecutive breaks. Gasquet pulled back one break in the seventh game to close the gap to 2-5, but Ymer served out the first set in the ninth game with an ace.

Ymer saved three break points in the sixth game, but Gasquet earned the break on his third chance in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3.

Ymer got an early break in the second game of the third set to open up a 3-0 lead. Gasquet broke back in the ninth game and held serve to draw level to 5-5. Ymer converted his third break point at deuce to seal the third set 7-5 in the 12th game.

Benoit Paire beat Gregoire Barrere 6-4 7-6 (7-1) in the all-French match. Paire earned his only break of the match in the third game of the opening set. He saved two break points in the fourth game of the second set. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break, where Paire cruised through to a 7-1 win.

Ilya Ivashka overcame Alexei Popyrin 6-1 3-6 6-4. Ivashka broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. Popyrin earned one break in the fourth game to clinch the second set 6-3. Popyrin got an early break at deuce in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Ivashka broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Both players went on serve until the 10th game when Ivashka sealed the win with a break.

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