Toronto Masters: Murray lets victory slip as Tsonga’s resurgence continues

 

Andy Murray’s Toronto Masters campaign came to an end in the quarter-finals last night as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continued his remarkable resurgence.

The 29-year-old Frenchman, who has slipped to world No 17, followed up his third-round victory over Novak Djokovic by beating Murray 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.

Tsonga, who goes on to play the winner of last night’s second quarter-final between Grigor Dimitrov and Kevin Anderson, has been in excellent form this week and showed great resilience to record his first victory in his last nine meetings with Murray. The Scot, aiming to win a third Canadian Masters title, led  3-0 in the final set before Tsonga made a spirited recovery.

Hitting 18 aces and 42 winners, Tsonga found some of his most effective form. The Frenchman, who lost his place in the world’s top 10 at the end of last year, has struggled to find his best game over the last 12 months but this was an indication that his career is back on track. He could be a significant threat at the US Open, which starts in 16 days’ time.

The first set saw both men serve superbly before reaching the tie-break, in which Murray saved a first set point at 4-6 with a service winner, but Tsonga then hit an ace to draw first blood.

Murray played a splendid game to break for 3-1 in the second set, but followed it with a poor service game as Tsonga broke back to love. When Murray served at 4-4 and 15-40 the end seemed imminent, but the world No 9 dug deep to hold serve and then broke to love to level the match.

When Murray went 3-0 up in the third set the momentum seemed to have swung decisively in his favour, but Tsonga responded superbly, winning the next five games in a row and breaking serve twice. Murray saved three match points when Tsonga served at 5-4 and 40-0, but on the fourth the Frenchman clinched victory with a typically big serve.

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