Rublev Upsets Tsonga With Comeback Victory In Marseille
Verdasco saves three match points to advance
The 21-year-old Russian earned his first victory in Marseille after one hour and 33 minutes, withstanding 13 aces and winning 71 per cent of service points (50/70). Rublev will meet Matteo Berrettini for a place in the quarter-finals. Berrettini, who saved eight set points in the first set, defeated eighth seed Jeremy Chardy of France 7-6(12), 7-6(0).
"We did a great match, and I'm really happy for the win," Berrettini said. "I was able to... stay focused on my service games."
Tsonga, who lifted the title in Marseille in 2009, 2013 and 2017, drops to 11-4 this season. After missing seven months of the 2018 ATP Tour season following left knee surgery, the 33-year-old Frenchman has impressed throughout this year. Earlier this month, Tsonga lifted his 17th ATP Tour title in Montpellier (d. Herbert) and reached the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament quarter-finals (l. to Medvedev).
"I won the first set 6-2, then I was broken at the beginning of the second set. [Andrey] was very aggressive. I had some tough moments with my serve. He played better in the end," said Tsonga. "I feel that I played a lot of matches in a row and back-to-back tournaments. I have to get used to it again."
Fernando Verdasco saved three match points to beat Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. The fifth seed, who saved all three match points serving at 4-5 in the decider, fired 15 aces throughout the two-hour, 11-minute first-round meeting.
Peter Gojowczyk moved into the second round after 79 minutes, beating Damir Dzumhur 6-2, 6-4. The 29-year-old German, making his debut in Marseille, saved six of seven break points en route to victory and will meet two-time former champion Gilles Simon for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Lucky loser Sergiy Stakhovsky landed 10 aces to beat French qualifier Constant Lestienne 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-3. Benoit Paire also advanced, defeating Simone Bolelli 6-4, 7-6(1) to book a second-round clash against third seed David Goffin.
"I enjoyed the match because I was fighting a lot... We both played well today," said Paire. "I will have to do the same against Goffin. It will be a complicated match and I will give everything."