Powerful Tsonga ends two-year barren run with home victory


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France beat Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 in the final of the Moselle Open yesterday to win his first title since 2009. Tsonga hit a backhand drop shot to earn a break point that he converted with a backhand pass down the line to lead 2-1 in the final set. He clinched victory when Ljubicic double-faulted on match point.

The No 10-ranked Tsonga won his sixth career title. It was his first since Tokyo two years ago and improved his chances of earning a spot for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals, which will take place at the O2 in London in late November.

Tsonga broke Ljubicic three times to take the first set on a backhand netted by the Croatian veteran. Ljubicic could not repeat his serving heroics from the semi-finals when he fired 26 aces to beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in straight sets on Saturday.

Tsonga seemed in control in the second set, ripping a backhand winner down the line to break serve and lead 3-1, but then double-faulted at 4-2 to help Ljubicic force his way back into the match.

Ljubicic slammed an ace to even the score at 4-4. He rallied from 4-2 down in the tiebreak to level at one set apiece with a forehand winner before Tsonga came through the decider.

Jamie Murray and Brazilian partner Andre Sa won their debut tournament as a pairing with victory in the doubles final. They were 6-4, 7-6 straight-sets winners in 85 minutes over second seeded pair Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic and Brazil's Marcelo Melo. Murray and Sa saved one set point at 6-7 in the second set tie-break before taking their second match point chance to secure the title.

Meanwhile, second-seeded Florian Mayer of Germany beat Spain's Pablo Andujar 6-3, 6-1 to win the final of the Nastase Tiriac Trophy. Mayer needed just over one hour to defeat fourth-seeded Andujar who never really managed to challenge the German yesterday.