• Tsonga stops Verdasco short of Madrid quarterfinals

    5/10/13 2:47 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Tsonga stops Verdasco short of Madrid quarterfinals Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcomes Fernando Verdasco in three sets on Thursday in Madrid. Tsonga is through to a quarterfinal showdown against Stanislas Wawrinka.

    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga booked a spot in the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback win over Fernando Verdasco on Thursday afternoon. Tsonga held 13 of 14 service games and converted all three of his break chances to advance in one hour and 49 minutes.

    Verdasco seized his only break of the day at 3-3 in the first set by forcing his opponent into a backhand error at the end of a brilliant rally. The Spaniard served out the opener in convincing fashion at 5-4 and capitalized on set point with a service winner.

    Tsonga, however, wasted no time turning the tide. The eighth-ranked Frenchman hit back with precision and aggression to break at love for an immediate 2-0 advantage in the second. Verdasco held the rest of the way to stay within striking distance, but he missed both of his break-point opportunities to get back on serve. Tsonga forced a third with a clutch hold at 5-3.

    More of the same continued in the decider, with Tsonga once again breaking at love for a quick 1-0 lead. Madrid's No. 7 seed held serve with style from there, striking four aces without double-faulting while serving at 68 percent and facing no more break points. Tsonga added one more break of the Verdasco serve at 3-0 to take the pressure almost completely off during his final two service games.

    Verdasco, a quarterfinalist last year after upsetting Rafael Nadal at this stage of the tournament, recorded four aces and two double-faults. Tsonga advances to meet Stanislas Wawrinka, a three-set winner over Grigor Dimitrov.

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