The quarterfinal pairings for the top half of the 2012 Metz draw have been set today. Tsonga will play Levine, whilst Davydenko will square off against Karlovic.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is through to the next round after defeating fellow Frenchman Clement Reix 6-3 6-3. Ranked outside the top 500, Reix did not embarrass himself however and performed far beyond a man of his ranking. As to be expected, serve was dominant on these courts. Tsonga would need just one break in the first set and took it in Reix’s opening service game.
While the second set was a bit tougher for Tsonga – break points came and went in the first and second games on Reix’s serve this set – class would eventually tell. In the vital seventh game of the set, Tsonga would push on into a 40-0 lead on return. While the first break point was saved by a brave volley, Reix could not hold on. Four match points would come and go next time round as Reix served to stay in the match but his he would eventually falter, giving up the fifth.
Nikolay Davydenko continues to justify skipping home tournament St Petersburg for France with another victory, this time 7-5 6-4 over the big serving Gilles Muller. Davydenko was excellent on serve all match and faced just two break points, both of which were saved at 4-3 in the second set. Muller often had more comfortable service games but just couldn’t handle the pressure on big points being broken when in prime position for each set. The first set saw Muller collapse at 5-5, giving up his serve to 15 while the exact same thing happened at 4-4 in the second for Muller.
Jesse Levine needed three sets to defeat German Michael Berrer as he continues to show improvements on the ATP tour. After a shaky match on serve last round against Cedrik Marcel Stebe, the American was much more solid on serve. He was broken just once in the 6-4 3-6 6-0. Levine finally made the breakthrough in the first set in the seventh game after failing to convert a break point in the previous game. This would be enough for the set but momentum soon swung the other way when Levine threw a shocker of a service game in early in set two, getting broken to love. Berrer did get nervy serving for the set but was able to save a break point and force a deciding set. Bizarrely though, the final set would not be reflective of the preceding two with Levine picking up the bagel in an incredibly uncompetitive decider where Berrer won just nine points.
Ivo Karlovic also advanced after a retirement by opponent Marcel Granollers. After taking the first set on a tiebreak, the big Croatian had moved into a 15-30 lead before the retirement when the score was 7-6 2-2 to Karlovic.
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