Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who lost at this year’s Wimbledon semis against the Brit Murray, made his way through to the second round of the 2012 London Olympics. The Frenchman defeated Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in straight sets 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-4 under the closed roof of the All England Club centre court.
This was their first encounter ever and despite Bellucci winning the title in Gstaad and reaching the semis in Stuttgart, Tsonga was going into the match as a clear favourite.
Both players held their service games with dominance throughout the first set, so a tiebreak was inevitable to finish it off. One mini break each marked the start of the ‘breaker’, just before Bellucci, the less experienced player of the two, managed to take the Frenchman’s serve once again to give himself a lead in the match.
Tsonga has been struggling with his footing in the early stages of the match. However, he was the first one to take his opponent’s serve in the fifth game of the second set, going 3-2 up, which proved to be just enough to force a decider after taking the set 6-4 in 37 minutes.
With Tsonga clearly being the more aggressive player, the Brazilian started to feel the pressure and it showed in the 7th game of the third set, when he dropped his serve to give the Frenchman the lead. World no.6 Tsonga found another gear and after breaking his opponent once more, he set up a second round encounter against the winner of the match between Canadian Milos Raonic and Japan’s Tatsuma Ito.
David Ferrer booked his place in round two after a straight sets win over Canadian Vasek Pospisil, prevailing 6-4 6-4.
The Spaniard, who won the grass court event in Hertogenbosch and reached the quarterfinals at the 2012 Wimbledon (losing to Murray), will play either Indian Vishnu Vardan or Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia in the next round.
Also through is Japanese Kei Nishikori, who eliminated Bernard Tomic of Australia, beating him 7-6 (4) 7-6 (4).