Restless Olivo Stuns Tsonga At Roland Garros
Argentine records just his second Top 20 match win
World No. 91 Renzo Olivo endured a restless night, but on his return to Court Philippe Chatrier at Roland Garros on Wednesday, he needed just a few minutes to end a six-match losing streak and wrap up the biggest win of his career.
Leading French favourite and No. 12 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(6), 5-4 on Tuesday night, in a first-round match suspended at 9:54 p.m. due to darkness, Olivo returned to the main stadium court and immediately broke Tsonga’s serve for victory.
“I didn't sleep well,” said Olivo. “I finished everything at around one o’clock in the morning. So it was really late. And then after, with the adrenaline of the match, I couldn't sleep much. So it was tough. I was thinking on the first point, all I wanted was to win the first point. I was thinking about that all night.
“It was a very difficult match against a really tough opponent like Jo. And he was playing home. I knew it was going to be hard. I tried to keep it calm, but tried to be as aggressive as possible – as I try to be always. I think I did it the right way. I found a great balance and it went the best way.”
Olivo ensured that Tsonga suffered his earliest loss at Roland Garros since his 2005 debut. The 25-year-old Argentine came into the Grand Slam championship having lost his past six tour-level matches and is 5-11 on the season. Four weeks ago, he began working with David Nalbandian’s brother, Javier Nalbandian.
Olivo, one of three siblings, moved from Rosario, Argentina, to Patrick Mouratoglou’s Academy outside Paris aged 12, spending four years to develop his dream of becoming a professional tennis player.
"I lived in France from age 12 to 16," Olivo told ATPWorldTour.com. "It was a very significant period in my life. Patrick Mouratoglou offered to bring me to his academy and support me in everything. My father couldn't support me anymore. It was too expensive. I had to accept Patrick's offer if I wanted to follow my dream.
"I had very difficult times in France. Living alone at that age is madness. Right now, if I think about it, I don't know how I did it. What courage I had at that time! Maybe now I wouldn't do it... I know that my family went to an enormous effort and they suffered for it."
Victory for Olivo over Tsonga was only his second win over a Top 20 player. His only previous win over a Top 20 player came at 2014 Bastad, where he defeated No. 18-ranked Tommy Robredo in the second round.
Tsonga came into the tournament on the back of his third ATP World Tour title of the season in Lyon (d. Berdych). It was the first clay-court crown of his career.
"I was expecting a tough match,” said Tsonga, a two-time Roland Garros semi-finalist. “The first rounds are always difficult. You need to find your bearings. My opponent was playing his first French Open. He was full of energy. He really wanted to do his best, and it showed. It's true that I didn't have the best feeling yesterday or even today. I never really found the right pace.
“Unfortunately, that meant I couldn't play well enough to win. I fought with the arms I had. I gave my best all the way to the end. Even today when I stepped onto the court, I tried to get back into the game. I gave my best.”
Go inside the tournament at RolandGarros.com.