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Tsonga prevails after gruelling 25-23 third set

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga triumphs over Raonic after enduring the longest three-set tennis match in Olympic Games history.

While Raonic started strong breaking Tsonga’s service game, it was not long before the resilient Frenchman broke back to claim the first set as his own; 6-3. The next set saw a complete reversal in command of the game as Raonic was able to overcome Tsonga’s speedy, slice serves with a 3-6 win.

Rain delayed the match following the second set for an extensive two-and-a-half hours. Perhaps the interruption upset the rhythm of both Raonic and Tsonga’s play, for each of them struggled to break two games ahead of the other for some time.

While the Canadian fought hard for the majority of the course of the match, he failed to hold serve during the very final game. Tsonga defeated him with a killer drop shot after already having advanced to a tremendous 0-40 lead, finally drawing the marathon of a match to a close.

“I felt like I played really well for most of the match and I just let it slip away from me at the end,” Raonic said.

The match lasted a gruelling total of three hours and 57 minutes; the 25-23 final set in itself alone continued for a lengthy two-and-a-half hours. Prior to Tsonga and Raonic’s encounter in London 2012, the record for the longest Olympic tennis match was held by Fernando Gonzalez and Taylor Dent after their bronze medal match in the Athens Olympic Games 2004 that reached an incredible three hours and 25 minutes.

The Frenchman has little time to recover from what ultimately became an exhausting match and a true test of both physical and mental endurance as he is set to proceed to the third round to play Feliciano Lopez.

“It’s good for my confidence, but not really good for my body,” Tsonga said.

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