• Tsonga takes on Dolgopolov in Madrid third round

    5/9/12 10:06 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Tsonga takes on Dolgopolov in Madrid third round A quarterfinal spot will be at stake when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga goes up against Alexandr Dolgopolov on Thursday in Madrid. They played doubles with each other in this event but lost in the first round.

    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Alexandr Dolgopolov will be meeting for the fifth time in their careers when they do battle in the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Thursday.

    The head-to-head series is tied up at two apiece, and three of the four previous encounters featured wild stuff. Tsonga prevailed 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 5-7, 10-8 at Wimbledon in 2010 before Dolgopolov earned a pair of victories in early 2011 (3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 at the Australian Open and 6-7(2), 6-4, 7-5 in Miami). A more routine encounter went Tsonga's way 6-4, 6-4 last year in Metz.

    Dolgopolov has endured an up-and-down 2012 campaign, which began with a runner-up finish to Andy Murray in Brisbane. The 20th-ranked Ukrainian appears to be rounding back into form with a third-round showing in Monte Carlo and already a third-round performance in Madrid. So far this week he has taken out Pablo Andujar and Andreas Seppi, the latter in three sets.

    Tsonga is looking to bounce back from a second-round Munich loss to Tommy Haas. The fourth-ranked Frenchman earned a first-round bye then kicked off his week with a 6-2, 7-6(4) victory over Ryan Harrison. Tsonga is a solid 22-8 for the season.

    A more traditional clay-court would give Dolgopolov a better chance, but this could still go either way as their past history indicates. Tsonga in three tight sets is the pick.

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Tsonga hanging on by his fingertips. Dolgopolov is hitting the cover off the ball right now. If this guy ever figures out a way to conjure up some consistency, he's going to be a real factor.

Shot wise, he might just be my favorite player to watch when he's playing well. Very entertaining.

cherylmurray , 5/10/12 2:31 PM

Cheryl, the comms are on good form-suggesting Dolgo's coach must've been in a Heavy Metal Band at some time lol. Am v. annoyed with Sasha, should've had this one done and dusted by now. Tsonga's not playing well and he's getting too many free gifts.

deuce , 5/10/12 3:01 PM

up and down stuff

RickyDimon , 5/10/12 3:12 PM

Thought Dolgo would have won by now. Foolish of him to give up those 2 break advantages at the beginning of the third.

cherylmurray , 5/10/12 3:27 PM

3rd-set tiebreaker

RickyDimon , 5/10/12 3:31 PM

5-1 Dolgo

RickyDimon , 5/10/12 3:33 PM

And down goes the No. 4 seed.

cherylmurray , 5/10/12 3:42 PM

Congrats to Dolgopolov.

schatz , 5/10/12 3:45 PM

Comm made point, it was much easier for Dolgo to run on the court being so light on his feet. JWT in contrast looked very heavy footed and indeed looked heavier generally to me. Looks as if he belongs in a rugby scrum....;)

deuce , 5/10/12 4:10 PM

What's wrong with Rafa today?

nadline , 5/10/12 4:13 PM

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