Tsonga dumped out of French Open by unheralded Olivo

The French 12th seed, who had just won the Lyon Open on clay, bowed out after saving three match points in the only game played on Wednesday after the match was interrupted by dusk on Tuesday.

France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in action during his first round match against Argentina's Renzo Olivo.   -  Reuters

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's French Open hopes vanished into thin air on Wednesday when he was sent packing in the first round with a 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4 defeat against Argenitine Renzo Olivo on Wednesday.

Tournament Tracker

The French 12th seed, who had just won the Lyon Open on clay, bowed out after saving three match points in the only game played on Wednesday after the match was interrupted by dusk on Tuesday. “We were back to the hotel around 1 a.m., I had a massage, it was not easy to sleep. I knew the first point today was important,” World No. 91 Olivo, who trained in France from 2012-2016, said.

Olivo served for the match on Wednesday but a burly Tsonga had broken back to keep his hopes alive. “I just tried to play every point as it was the last,” said Olivo, who handed Tsonga his second first-round defeat at Roland Garros.

No French man has won the French Open since 1983, let alone a Grand Slam title.

DJOKOVIC CRUISES

Meanwhile, the star appeal of Andre Agassi was undeniable at the French Open on Wednesday as his new charge Novak Djokovic romped to a second-round win.

Almost as many cameras were trained on the U.S. tennis star as were trained on Djokovic throughout the latter's 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 dismantling of Portugal's Joao Sousa. There was a spring in the step of the World No. 2 that had seemed missing in recent months. Djokovic looked every bit a champion as he controlled his opponent throughout, with Agassi closely monitoring from courtside, a look of concern occasionally clouding his mien.

But Agassi needn't have worried. Having raced through the first set in a little over half an hour, second seed Djokovic established his rhythm and then just pulled away. He next meets Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the third round.

COMFORTABLE WIN FOR NADAL

Nine-times French Open champion Rafael Nadal registered a comfortable 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Dutchman Robin Haase. The 30-year-old Spaniard will face Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in the third round.

RAONIC BOOKS THIRD-ROUND SPOT

Fifth seed Milos Raonic recovered from a first-set blip to register a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win over Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva. The 26-year-old Canadian hit 25 aces on his way to victory in a match that lasted two hours and 23 minutes.

DIMITROV, THIEM THROUGH

Eleventh seed Grigor Dimitrov picked up a comprehensive 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 win over Spaniard Tommy Robredo, a five-time Roland Garros quarterfinalist. Austrian Dominic Thiem fires an ace down the line to seal his place in the third round with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 win over Italian Simone Bolelli. The World No. 6 was broken only once during the match that lasted for two hours and 22 minutes.

JOHNSON BREAKS DOWN AFTER VICTORY

Still grieving the recent death of his father, 25th-seeded American Steve Johnson dropped to his knees and began crying at the end of his 6-2, 7-6 (8), 3-6, 7-6 (6) victory over Borna Coric at the French Open.

Johnson was overcome by emotion during a Tennis Channel TV interview right after the second-round match, wiping away tears as his voice choked on his words.

“I just miss my dad, you know? I wish he was following along. I know he is, from upstairs,” Johnson said. “Just so emotional. It’s hard to describe. I just know he was looking down on me on that last point. And gave me the strength to finish it off.”

Steve Johnson Sr., a tennis coach in California, passed away about three weeks ago.

 

  Dugout videos