Tsonga and Youzhny through to 2nd round of China Open 2012

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PinExt Tsonga and Youzhny through to 2nd round of China Open 2012

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga survived a scare from Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, dropping the first set before progressing in a 4-6 6-1 7-6(3) victory. Istomin hadn’t been in great form coming into this match so it was a surprise to see him pick up an early break for a 2-1 lead. Backed by some dominant serving, he would ride it until the end, dropping just five points on serve in the opening set and saving the one break point opportunity Tsonga had.

After an early break point chance for Istomin was not taken, it was all Tsonga in the second set. He reeled off five straight games on his way to a 6-1 second set win but also needed to remain alert on serve, having had to save a break point at *3-1 up in a lengthy service game.

The decider would resemble the first set, with serve dominant and break chances minimal. In only three of twelve service games did the receiver win more than two points, although one of them did include Tsonga having a 15-40 lead which he was unable to convert. With neither player giving in on serve, it would be decided on a final set tie break. 3-2* up, Istomin had a slight sniff of victory in the tie break but this would soon go as Tsonga reeled off the final five points of the match to book a second round match with Nikolay Davydenko.

Seventh seed Tommy Haas was sent packing after a disappointing defeat to Mikhail Youzhny. With the 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory, Youzhny moves into the second round where he will play Kevin Anderson. Despite having a break lead in the first set, Haas was never comfortable and had been serving poorly. He served only 34% first serves in the set, serving six double faults as he lost the last four games from 4-2 to fall a set down.

After a first set that saw twelve break opportunities between the two players, the second set was very different as both players improved greatly, especially Haas who improved in the first serve stakes up to 76%. Backed by this, he would face just one break point which would be saved at 3-3. Scoreboard pressure would finally get to his Russian opponent, who would fall down 15-40 in serving to stay in the set. Haas needed just the once to force the decider.

The failure to break at a crucial point of the third set at 2-2 proved fatal for Haas, who had missed four chances to go a break up. He struggled to win points on serve from then on and would fall to 0-40 in both of his next service games and eventually be broken despite saving five break points between the two as Youzhny took the last five games of the match for what was a comfortable decider in the end.

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