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  • Tsonga reels in Fish with second-set comeback

    3/13/13 3:49 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Tsonga reels in Fish with second-set comeback Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ends Mardy Fish's comeback tournament in straight sets on Tuesday in Indian Wells. Tsonga will go up against Milos Raonic for a spot in the quarterfinals.

    Mardy Fish made a strong showing in his comeback from health problems during his first tournament of 2013, but he did not have quite enough for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Tuesday afternoon in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open. Tsonga came out on top in a pair of tiebreakers to subdue Fish 7-6(4), 7-6(0) after two hours and eight minutes.

    Fish had chances the entire way, including in the first set when he got a look at five break points. Tsonga saved one midway through the opener with a winner off the net cord and he also delivered clutch holds at 4-5 and 5-6 to stay alive.

    Fish, who fought off one break point in the first game of the match, seized a mini-break for 4-3 in the decider with a running backhand pass. The 31-year-old American, however, gave it away via an error then double-faulted to fall behind in the blink of an eye. Tsonga took care of his next two service points to steal the set.

    Another tiebreaker had to decide the second, which progressed in much different fashion. Fish stormed ahead 4-0 but once again could not maintain a lead. Tsonga broke back twice for 4-4, promptly donated his own serve, then broke back again--at love--to eventually force the 'breaker. With momentum in hand there was no slowing down this time and the eighth-ranked Frenchman won the last seven points of the match to clinch victory in style.

    "I felt like I could have easily won the match," explained Fish, who struck three aces while serving at a dismal 43 percent. "(I had a) bunch of break points obviously in the first set, and the second set was what it was. Tennis wise it's a good sign that it hasn't taken too long to get the form back. I usually don't lose 4-0 sets very often. I can't remember the last one."

    Tsonga cracked nine aces en route to a fourth-round meeting with Milos Raonic, who overcame Marin Cilic in three sets.

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