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Tsonga edges Mahut
February 09, 2018
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Montpellier: Third seed France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga qualified for the quarterfinals in Montpellier after a victory in three sets against compatriot Nicolas Mahut (7-6 [3], 6-7 [3], 7-6 [4]).

Tsonga indeed needed three sets and three tie-breaks, to beat his compatriot in 2h24m of play.

Fifth seed and three-time Montpellier champion Richard Gasquet improved his score at one of the favorite tournaments in the calendar to a 22-4 after a hard-fought 7-6 5-7 6-3 win over Davis Cup teammate Pierre-Hugues Herbert in 2 hours and 8 minutes.

This will be the seventh consecutive quarter-final for Gasquet here and he will meet the 4th seed Damir Dzumhur for the place in the semis.

Richard and Pierre-Hugues played for the first time against each other and nothing could separate them in the opening two sets before Gasquet sealed the win with a break in the sixth game of the decider. There were nine break points in total and we saw two breaks of serve on each side, with fast and floating games and just three that went to deuce.

Pierre-Hugues had to work hard right from the opening game, saving three break points with three winners to escape an early setback, and this gave him the necessary momentum. He used it well, breaking Gasquet at 15 in the second game when Richard sent a forehand long and getting a chance to grab the set if he served well in the remaining games.

Nonetheless, Gasquet found the way to break back in game five after forcing a half-volley error from Herbert, and they both served well to set up the tie break. Richard restored the order on his serve after that loose opening game and he clinched the breaker 7-3, winning the last six points of the set and scoring four mini-breaks to move in front.

Pierre-Hugues improved the first serve percentage in set number two and he followed Gasquet’s pace in the first 10 games, with no break points what so ever. Out of sudden, Gasquet got broken in the 11th game when he missed an easy backhand and Herbert brought the set home with three service winners a few minutes later for a 7-5 and the third set on the board.


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