Tsonga Hits 44 Winners, Upsets Khachanov
Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fought through a mid-match dip to upset second seed Karen Khachanov 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 on Tuesday at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C.
Tsonga was a swing away from being up a set and a break when Khachanov served at 4-6, 0-1, 0/40. But the Russian won five straight points and erased another 0/40 deficit on serve during the fourth game. Tsonga, in turn, lost his serve the very next game, and Khachanov ran away with the second set.
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But in the third, the 34-year-old Tsonga regrouped and neither big hitter faced a break point until Tsonga saw his match point, when Khachanov sailed a backhand long.
“I played very good tennis, just really happy to go through this one. It’s been a long time since I won against a Top 10 player. It’s good for me. It’s good to get some rewards when you’re working well and you play some good matches,” Tsonga said.
The right-hander, No. 70 in the ATP Rankings, had never won a match in Washington before this week but will now play for a spot in the quarter-finals against Brit Kyle Edmund, who earned his 100th tour-level win with a 6-1, 6-4 victory against South African Lloyd Harris.
American Reilly Opelka, who made the BB&T Atlanta Open semi-finals last week (l. to De Minaur), set up an intriguing matchup with #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime. Opelka, 21, saved all three break points faced to dismiss countryman Christopher Eubanks 6-4, 7-6(3). The ninth-seeded Auger-Aliassime, 18, received a bye.
The winner between Opelka and Auger-Aliassime will meet sixth seed Marin Cilic, who beat Romanian Marius Copil 7-6(4), 7-6(4). Lucky loser Peter Gojowczyk of Germany escaped past Hamburg European Open finalist Andrey Rublev 7-6(6), 4-6, 7-6(2) and will meet Atlanta champion Alex de Minaur of Australia.