• Tsonga, Dolgopolov take different paths to third round

    3/27/11 5:13 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Tsonga, Dolgopolov take different paths to third round Jo-Wilfried Tsonga battles past Teymuraz Gabashvili on Saturday in Miami. Tsonga is joined in the third round by Alexandr Dolgopolov, who had a much easier time of things with Andreas Seppi.

    (15) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3

    Tsonga kicked off his Sony Ericsson Open campaign by battling past Gabashvili in two hours and nine minutes on Saturday afternoon. Gabashvili went up an early break in all three sets, but each time he gave it back in the following game. It cost the 77th-ranked Russian set one, but he recovered in the second and took it seven points to three in a tiebreaker.

    With momentum in hand, Gabashvili seized a 2-1 lead in the final frame of play. That, however, is when Tsonga started to pick up the pace for the first time all day. The 16th-ranked Frenchman struck to get back on serve for 2-2 and had little trouble on serve the rest of the way. One more break allowed Miami's No. 15 seed to serve out the proceedings at 5-3. Tsonga fired 15 aces and double-faulted just once en route to a third-round showdown against Alexandr Dolgopolov.

    (21) Alexandr Dolgopolov d. Andreas Seppi 6-1, 5-3, ret.

    Dolgopolov cruised into the third round on Saturday afternoon when Seppi retired with a left ankle sprain. The 23rd-ranked Ukrainian, though, was already rolling long before Seppi went down. In fact, Dolgopolov raced through the first five games of the match before his opponent finally got on the scoreboard.

    Seppi seized a surprising break to take a 2-0 lead in the second as Dolgopolov clearly suffered a minor mental lapse. The 48th-ranked Italian extended the advantage to 3-0, but it soon fell apart. Dolgopolov got the break back without much trouble before Seppi took an injury timeout at the 2-3 changeover. The underdog did not win another game and called it quits just one game before the finish line. Dolgopolov wrapped up his effort with eight aces and three double-faults while Seppi recorded a dismal zero aces and five doubles.

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