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  • Tsonga outlasts Raonic 25-23 in Olympic epic

    7/31/12 8:17 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Tsonga outlasts Raonic 25-23 in Olympic epic Jo-Wilfried Tsonga survives Milos Raonic in a marathon thriller to reach the third round of the Olympics on Tuesday evening. Their third set was the longest set in Olympic tennis history.


    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga finally got the best of Milos Raonic on Tuesday evening in London, but not before they played the longest set in the history of the Olympics. Tsonga prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 after three hours and 56 minutes to book a well-earned place in the third round.

    The Frenchman seemed poised to end things in much quicker fashion when he broke early in the first set and consolidated his advantage the whole way. But Raonic turned the tide in the second, needing one break of his own to deadlock the match. The Canadian dropped a mere four points in five service games to force a decider.

    A record-setting third set saw Tsonga save a break point at 11-11 before Raonic fought off match points at 15-16 and 20-21. After successfully serving to stay in the match 19 times, Raonic fell into a 0-40 hole at 23-24. He survived one more match point, but Tsonga finally clinched victory with a perfect defensive lob followed by a drop-volley winner.

    "I was a little bit disappointed with the way I started the first three games, but after I felt like I was playing the better tennis for most of the match until probably really late in the third set," noted Raonic, who struck 23 aces and seven double-faults. "There's a lot of good things to take, there's a lot of learning things to take from this."

    "At the end I was just very happy for my country," Tsonga explained. "I did it for them, and that's it. It was not easy because I have to finish on his serve, and this guy have a big serve, so it was not easy. I had many possibilities and I didn't take it. He played better than me on these points. Finally I did it, so I'm really happy. I'm just really happy the way I played today.

    "I think it's something good, to have some good match like this at the Olympics. It's good for tennis; it's good for sports."

    Tsonga finished with a stellar ration of 60 winners to 27 errors while setting up a third-round clash against Feliciano Lopez.

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Comments

Was only able to watch their third epic set but thought Tsonga's greater experience would prevail in the end. Good to see the affectionate exchange between the two men at the end.

Happy to see the Spanish players holding their own this far but expect Tsonga to waltz past Lopez in the next round.

ed251137 , 7/31/12 10:40 PM


f**k sake guys,
Learn to close off a match next time.
Twas amusing however.
Tsonga is coooolllll.

Twinge , 8/1/12 12:00 AM



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