Match report

Oleksandr Dolgopolov Jr ©
3rd round
5/10/12 1 2 3 Tot
ua  Oleksandr Dolgopolov Jr 7 3 7 2
fr  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 5 6 6 1
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ©
  • Dolgpolov outlasts Tsonga in third-set tiebreaker

    5/10/12 3:41 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Alexandr Dolgopolov is through to the Madrid quarterfinals after surviving another thriller against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday. Dolgopolov will go up against either Juan Martin Del Potro or Marin Cilic.

    Alexandr Dolgopolov beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(2) in the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Thursday afternoon. Dolgopolov needed two hours and 18 minutes to book a spot in the quarterfinals of the clay-court swing's second Masters event.

    This one was back and forth right from the start. Tsonga raced to a 4-1 lead in the opening set, but that's when it started to come apart for the Frenchman. He dropped serve at 4-2 and again at 5-5 to suddenly fall behind. Dolgopolov, who had no trouble on serve aside from the one game early in the proceedings, closed it out comfortably to take the set.

    Tsonga picked up the pace in set two, especially on serve. The world No. 5 fired four aces without double-faulting and saved the only break point he faced. As a result, one break of his own at 4-3 made the difference and ultimately forced a decider.

    Dolgopolov had several chances to cruise through a potentially comfortable third set, but he gave back breaks on two occasions. The 20th-ranked Ukrainian broke immediately for 2-0 only to give it away, then he struck for a 3-1 lead but once again donated it right back to Tsonga.

    Seven relatively uneventful holds later, a tiebreaker had to separate the two competitors--who played doubles with each other earlier in the week. Dolgopolov surged through it, winning every one of his service points while earning two mini-breaks. The first came via a forehand winner at 1-0 and a shanked forehand by Tsonga at 4-1 all but ended the No. 4 seed's chances.

    Dolgopolov now leads the head-to-head series 3-2. Four of their five encounters--and all three of Dolgopolov's wins--have progressed to deciding sets. He awaits either Juan Martin Del Potro or Marin Cilic in the quarters.

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