In-Form Tsonga And Medvedev To Meet In Rotterdam Quarter-finals
Dzumhur sets up Monfils clash
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga set up a Rotterdam quarter-final against another player who picked up an ATP Tour title last week, Daniil Medvedev, on Thursday. Medvedev beat Tsonga 7-6(6), 6-2 in the Brisbane International semi-finals last month. The pair is 1-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
Tsonga, the Open Sud de France champion on the comeback trail from a left knee injury, wore down the spirited, power game of Dutch wild card Tallon Griekspoor 7-6(5), 6-1 in 76 minutes at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
“At the start I played well, but he played well too,” said Tsonga. “I need to keep holding my serve and have the patience to wait for a chance. I was not surprised by his level of play… I stayed at the same level in the second set and he dropped a little bit. That was the difference.”
World No. 221 Griekspoor saved four set points on serve in an evenly matched first set, before 2017 champion Tsonga finally clinched the 54-minute opener with an unreturned serve. Tsonga turned up the pressure in the third game of the second set, securing a break when Griekspoor struck two consecutive forehand errors. Tsonga broke serve for a third time with a backhand return winner to stretch his winning streak to seven matches.
Medvedev maintained his own impressive start to the 2019 ATP season by beating Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 7-5 in one hour and 34 minutes. The fourth-seeded Russian, who captured his fourth ATP Tour trophy at the Sofia Open (d. Fucsovics) on Sunday, has now won 13 of his 15 matches in 2019.
“Fernando is a really great player and conditions are slow here, so to find a tactic to win points was difficult,” said Medvedev. “My goal was just to put the ball back in the court and I’m happy to have won.”
Medvedev won the first three games against Verdasco — who struck 42 unforced errors in total — and broke with a backhand winner, off a drop shot, in the 11th game of the second set. Medvedev wrapped up the victory by serve-and-volleying for the first time in the match.
Earlier in the day, Damir Dzumhur, winless this year prior to arriving at the ATP 500-level tournament, is through to his first ATP Tour quarter-final for six months (2018 Shenzhen Open) after he beat Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-4, 7-6(3) in one hour and 43 minutes. He will next play France’s Gael Monfils.