Tsonga Rallies From Two Sets Down
David Goffin, Nicolas Almagro and Ernests Gulbis also advanced
Sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga delighted the French crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier by rallying from two sets down to defeat Marcos Baghdatis in their second-round match on Thursday, 6-7(6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
The early stages of the match saw Tsonga unable to convert several opportunities. The Frenchman missed a set point in the opening set tie-break and couldn’t take advantage of break point chances to lead 3-0 lead in the second set. A volley winner on break point gave Baghdatis a 5-3 lead in the second set and he closed things out one game later to take a commanding two-set lead.
True to his competitive nature, Tsonga refused to bow out quietly. Finding the range on his shots, he raced out to a 4-1 lead in the third set and brought the crowd into the match after clinching it. Although he did more running in the baseline rallies throughout the fourth set, it was Baghdatis who appeared tired as the Frenchman brought the match to a deciding set.
Tsonga once again grabbed an early break of serve to start the fifth set. Continuing to chase down drop shots after more than three hours of play, he converted on his third break point chance at 4-2 and comfortably served out the match one game later. He improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Baghdatis to 7-1.
The win marked the third time in Tsonga’s career that he came back from two sets down. The last time he did was against Roger Federer in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2011. Next up is former Roland Garros semi-finalist Ernests Gulbis of Latvia.
In the first upset of the day, Gulbis prevailed in his second-round over No. 26 seed Joao Sousa of Portugal, 6-2, 7-5, 6-3. Gulbis was in peak form throughout the contest, firing 60 winners to just 25 unforced errors. Tsonga leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 3-2, but Gulbis won their most recent match in 2014 at the ATP World Tour 250 event in Marseille
Twelfth seed David Goffin continued his impressive form by winning over Carlos Berlocq of Argentina, 7-5, 6-1, 6-4. The Belgian was in full flight in the latter stages, hitting 22 winners to 13 unforced errors in the last two sets. He will play veteran Nicolas Almagro of Spain for a place in the second week.
"I'm very happy to win the match in three sets against such a good clay player in the second round of a Grand Slam," said Goffin. "That gives me confidence."
Almagro reached the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in three years by defeating Jiri Vesley of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. The former World No. 9 racked up 19 break points throughout the contest and converted on six of them. Almagro leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Goffin 3-0, but they haven’t played in over three years.