Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, who reached the semis of Monte-Carlo two weeks ago, was back in action on Wednesday in Madrid facing Robin Haase.
Tsonga escaped a tight clash 7-6 7-6 to set up a third round clash between himself and Fernando Verdasco.
Robin Haase made sure Tsonga had to work for his third round ticket, but the man from the Netherlands have now lost a sensational 17 straight tiebreaks. It was a high quality-loss for Robin, but something must be done in order to strengthen the mental parts of his game.
17 consecutive tiebreak losses is a hard-to-believe streak that must be broken quickly if Haase wants to achieve bigger things.
Both men held their serve throughout the whole first set and as the tiebreak started, Haase took control winning the first three points. But once again, the mental strain of his previous struggles at crucial moments hampered him as Tsonga won the following six points and held on to win the first set.
Haase was not done however, as he came out breaking the Frenchman immediately leaping into a 2-0 lead in the second set. Unfortunately for the Dutchman, Tsonga broke back right away and from there on they both held their serves into another tiebreak. A tiebreak that was one-way traffic in favour of Tsonga who won it 7-2.
Nicolas Almagro was up against Mikail Youzhny from Russia. Youzhny has proved to be a thorn in Almegro’s side with their four previous meetings coming out in favour of the Russian.
Almagro was hoping to break the Russian’s winning streak in front of his home crowd but all he experienced was another devastating defeat as Youzhny won 7-6 4-6 6-2 to expand his dominance even more.
Rafael Nadal who held the amazing record of 27 victories and 2 losses since returning from his injuries this year, was up against Frenchman Beniot Paire, whom he defeated two weeks ago in Barcelona.
Paire gave everything he had playing great tennis but the former world number one was just to good, and at some points played absolutely brilliant, showing his former “king of clay”-self for the audience. In the end Rafa collected another routine victory 6-3 6-4.
Speaking to the ATPworldtour.com after the game Rafa said: "That's an important victory today.
"Each match in this kind of tournament is very demanding from the first round. He was a very uncomfortable opponent. He makes you play quite badly. He doesn't give you any rhythm. He has one of the best backhands in the circuit, without any doubt."
Nadal will now face the Spaniard slaying Russian, Mikail Youzhny in the upcoming round.
In addition, also through in straight sets without any major troubles are both finalists from last week’s tournament in Oeiras, Portugal, David Ferrer and Stanislas Wawrinka. Ferrer had a tough first set versus Dennis Istomin from Uzbekistan but eventually got through 7-5 6-2.
Wawrinka made little work of Colombian Santiago Giraldo winning in straight sets 6-3 6-3. He will now face the rising star Grigor Dimitrov in next round - the youngster who defeated Novak Djokovic on Tuesday.
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