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10

Apr

2019

Tsonga Battles Past Edmund Into Marrakech QF

Wild card Jo-Wilfried Tsonga booked his place in the Grand Prix Hassan II quarter-finals on Wednesday by beating third seed and 2018 runner-up Kyle Edmund 7-6(6), 6-3 in 90 minutes.

Tsonga saved one break point at 2-2 in the 52-minute first set, which saw Edmund win 89 per cent of his first-service points, and in the tie-break at 5/4 Tsonga ripped a forehand winner down the line for two set point opportunities. Edmund recovered to 6/6, but Tsonga then fired down an ace and was then gifted the set when Edmund mis-timed a forehand long.

Tsonga continued to apply the pressure, and Edmund withstood two break points at 1-1 in the second set, before overhitting a forehand to hand Tsonga a 3-2 advantage. Tsonga broke serve for a second time, finishing the pair’s first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting with a backhand volley winner.

“It's always great to beat a Top 20 player and very motivating. I will have a day off tomorrow and hope to continue playing well,” Tsonga said.

This year’s Open Sud de France champion will now prepare to face Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego, who advanced to his second ATP Tour quarter-final — and first since April 2018 in Budapest (l. to Bedene) — with a 7-6(5), 6-3 victory over Robin Haase of the Netherlands in one hour and 40 minutes.

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Fourth seed Gilles Simon, who lifted the trophy as a qualifier in 2008 (d. Benneteau), moved into the quarter-finals for the sixth time with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Guido Andreozzi of Argentina in 77 minutes. He will next play Japan’s Taro Daniel, who fought his way past Adrian Menendez-Maceiras, a Spanish qualifier, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 in one hour and 45 minutes.

“I was positively surprised with how well I played today,” said Simon. “Lately, I have played very well in practice, but not during the matches. Today, I was happy with how I played. I’m happy with my level during those first two matches on clay and I’m feeling well here in Marrakech.”

Bopanna/Inglot Advance To Doubles Semi-Finals
Second seeds Rohan Bopanna and Dominic Inglot won just 11 points in the first set, but recovered to beat Roman Jebavy and Andres Molteni 0-6, 6-3, 10-8 in 65 minutes for a place in the doubles semi-finals. Inglot partnered Mate Pavic to the 2017 title (d. Granollers/M. Lopez).

Elsewhere, Leander Paes and Benoit Paire knocked out fourth seeds Oliver Marach and Philipp Oswald 7-5, 3-6, 12-10 in one hour and 43 minutes.