For the first time in over three years, France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov will clash on the professional tour for a spot in the 2014 Rogers Cup final in Toronto. This will mark the fourth time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional circuit, with the Tsonga vs Dimitrov Head to Head standing at 3-0.
13th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continued his magnificent romp through the Rogers Cup draw with a 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Andy Murray in a high quality encounter on Stadium Court. Although an entertaining match to watch, it was equally messy and featured several changes in momentum for both players.
The first set saw both players remain solid on serve and withstand any potential breakpoints until the tiebreaker. It was there that Tsonga pounced on a mistimed Murray shot to snatch the lead and eventually the set. The second set was a cleaner showing from Murray, who broke ahead to send the match to a deciding set.
Murray would then take a commanding 3-0 lead in the final set but the resilient Frenchman leveled the match and forced a break of his own before closing out the match with 4 aces in the final game. The Frenchman hit 18 aces, won 83% of his first service points and a whopping 40 winners en route to the 2 hours and 18 minute win over the Scot.
“I had my hand on the match at the beginning and then he came back,” said Tsonga, assessing his performance. “Then I was a little bit down. I just stayed focused, tried to be a little bit more aggressive because I was a little bit flat after losing the second set. (In the third set) he gave me one or two points that he didn’t give me since the start of the second set and then I broke back and I won it.”
In arguably the most cringe worthy match of the week so far, Grigor Dimitrov avoided an onslaught of match points to defeat South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 5-7, 7-5, 7-6. Dimitrov hit 10 aces, won 78% of his first service points but saved less break points than Anderson and was gifted the match after the world No. 21 double faulted on his final point.
This marks the fourth time these two competitors will meet on the ATP World Tour, and while Tsonga holds an undefeated 3-0 record against his younger opponent, the most recent of those wins took place almost three years ago before Dimitrov came into his own. This will likely be a grueling three-set battle for both men but Tsonga just seems determined to reign supreme in Toronto this week.
Prediction: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Three Sets