Tsonga saves Match Point to Win in Marseille

February 24, 2013

ATP Tennis News

By Lisa-Marie Burrows

Jo-Wilfired Tsonga wins his 10th ATP title. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Jo-Wilfired Tsonga wins his 10th ATP title. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Marseille, France – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga enjoyed a successful comeback after saving a match point against Tomas Berdych in front of a home crowd at the Open 13 final in Marseille.  He beat the top seed 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 in two hours and 10 minutes.

Berdych started the match as the favourite, as the top seed had beaten Tsonga in four of their five previous matches, having won all three of their meetings in 2012 and this was a losing streak that Tsonga was determined to put a stop to.

The Czech No.1 began playing aggressively from the onset.  The rallies were lengthy and aggressive and he was able to move the quick-footed Frenchman around the court fairly easily due to the depth of his shots. Berdych had three break points early in the set, but finally converted on his fourth before taking the set 6-3.

The Wimbledon finalist continued to serve well and Tsonga was denied having a single break point during the first two sets and the 27-year-old forced Berdych into an all-important second set tiebreak.

The Frenchman held his nerve well and his powerful first serve prevented Berdych from taking the ball on the rise and be aggressive at the start of the rallies.

To the delight of the crowd, Tsonga took the second set 8-6 in a nail-biting tiebreaker, having trailed 5-6.  The two consecutive aces forced a final third set.

Taking the second set gave the crowd something to cheer about and Tsonga had the mental edge as he broke early in the third set. Tsonga continued to dictate the rallies during the third set and eventually wrapped it up  6-4 in the third to lift his fifth ATP title on home soil, his seventh indoors and his 10th ATP title overall.

“This is a great victory. I stayed in the match even when it was very difficult and waited for my chance. I survived and took my chance when it came. I’m very happy. This shows me that I’m on the right way. The draw was very strong here.”

Despite a disappointing loss for world No. 6 Berdych, he has improved on a poor win/loss record ahead of the tournament.  Previously he had won only two of his six matches, coming into the event and his run through to the finals ended that spell of disappointment.

“I had a few chances, but Jo was able to serve well in the moment.  That’s the sport. Here, I lost three tie-breaks. This one was very important. But it happens.”

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About Lisa-Marie Burrows

Lisa-Marie Burrows has a MA in Sports Broadcast Journalism and is a freelance sports journalist. She has covered many national and international tennis tournaments and has worked in Paris for Eurosport News channel. She is a member of the International Press Association and a journalist for its online magazine, IMPress. She has contributed articles for various leading websites including www.tennisgrandstand.com, www.worldtennismagazine.com, www.tennisbloggers.com, www.tennisscoop.co.uk and www.olympictennis.net. Lisa-Marie operates her tennis website www.tennisnewsviews.com where you can read her reports. She can be reached at lburrows@internationalpress.com or on Twitter @TennisNewsViews.

View all posts by Lisa-Marie Burrows

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