Tsonga vs Almagro: Bringing Hisense To Life
Day seven of the tennis and the vibe wasn’t happening. One of our favs, Wozniacki, had played a lackluster match to lose to Na Li in straight sets. Classic bad tennis, both players struggled to hold serve and Wozniacki hit a mere three winners, bad by even her standards. After that disappointing match, Djokovic sailed through his easy fourth rounder against Kubot. Two sets into the Tsonga vs Almagro match, and we were thinking the highlight of the day was noticing that Djokovic dedicated more time than anyone to sign autographs.
We briefly considered leaving after the second set to watch the end of the Davydenko vs. Verdasco match on TV, but live tennis is hard to resist. Thankfully, we stayed. Halfway through the third, Almagro picked up the pace like never before. Playing the match of his life, he was hitting screaming flat forehand winners, his one handed backhand had gone from a liabilty to a massive weapon, and his serve was on fire. He managed to clinche the third set 6-4.
Almagro wasn’t one for missing opportunities, keeping up his fantastic form to clinch the fourth. With Almagro hitting winners from all corners of the court, Tsonga was barely hanging in but managed to take it to a tiebreak. After a controversial challenge, where Tsonga and the crowd thought he had served an ace but Almagro challenged after quite some time to prove it was out, Tsonga hit a double to gift Almagro the set.
The fifth was by miles the best set of the match, with both players playing fantastic tennis. It was impossible to pick with Almgaro still serving hard and playing well, but Tsonga refusing to go away and starting to play more like he did at the start of the match. After fifteen nervewracking games for the Tsonga-supporting crowd, Tsonga managed to break for the 9-7 win. The look on his face was of pure joy and relief. His very vocal player’s box went even more wild, as did the crowd.
Almagro proved to fans today that he is not just a clay court player. He can also play some fantastic hard court tennis. Tsonga probably should not have let Almagro back in the match, but he eventually managed to prevail as the more mentally tough player.
Congratulations to both players on a fantastic match. Next up for Tsonga is Djokovic. He should prove more of a challenge to Nole, who really hasn’t had the hardest of draws so far. As for me, I have two days left of the tennis before I am confined to watching it on TV. So far though, this is shaping up to be a fantastic nine days.