Monday, 20 February 2017

Tsonga No 1 in France again

Three players won their first titles of the year on the ATP Tour over the weekend, but only one would have realistically been given a chance pre tournament.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the second seed in Rotterdam, claimed his thirteenth career title, relegating David Goffin to a second successive runner-up position in the process.

It was Goffin faster out of the blocks, serving competently and able to return the Tsonga delivery with interest, breaking twice for a 4-1 lead.  
Despite Tsonga retrieving one of the breaks, Goffin eased to a 6-4 lead.

The French serve lifted in power and effectiveness in set two, allowing Goffin little option but to defend, and while Tsonga won 80% of points on his own serve, facing no break points,  Goffin finally relented in the tenth game, dropping serve and losing the set 4-6.
The deciding set was a cakewalk with Tsonga savaging the total Belgian game.  Without a title last year, Tsonga is off and running in 2017, winning 4-6 6-4 6-1, and once again taking the mantle of number one French player, moving past Gael Monfils.
David Goffin, although disappointed at losing another final (he has failed in his last six), will be delighted to achieve a career high ranking of 10.

Alexandr Dolgopolov won his first title in five years with victory in Buenos Aires over top seed Kei Nishikori, a player he had previously never beaten.  It was a tough match with both players achieving a service break in the opening set before the Ukranian prevailed in the tie break.
The only two break chances in set two were those afforded Dolgopolov and he converted one which was enough for the 7-6 (4) 6-4 success.
The win catapults him back to the top fifty, still well off his best of 13 achieved some years ago.

The debut winner this week was American Ryan Harrison, who won the Memphis tournament.  Harrison won a final against equally unseeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, in which he did not drop serve.  After a devastating 6-1 first set,  Harrison withstood a much tougher contest in the second, and saved an incredible 10 break points in the process.
He broke the Basilashvili serve in the fifth game and rode it through to the end, winning 6-1 6-4.  This win came directly after a win on the Challenger circuit, making Harrison one of the genuine form players right now, and his ranking has improved from 62 to 43.

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