Tsonga Win over Raonic Makes Olympic History


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Two Olympic Tennis Event records were broken on Tuesday in London in the men’s singles second round match between No. 5 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and Milos Raonic from Canada, which Tsonga won 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 in 3 hours 57 minutes.

At the All England Club, Tsonga and Raonic resumed a match delayed by rain second round match  at a set a piece 2-1 in the third. Little did they know that this that this match would prove to be a record-breaker.

Tsonga and Raonic held serve, again, and again and again – altogether 23 times each until Tsonga broke Raonic in the 48th game of the third to win the match 6-3, 3-6, 25-23. The match, at 66 games long set a record for the longest three-set match in Olympic history. The third set, at 48 games is also the longest-ever set at the Olympics.

The previous records for the most games in a 3-set match (63) and longest set (38 games) were both set at 1988 Seoul in a first round doubles match, in which Carling Bassett-Seguso/Jill Hetherington (CAN) defeated Mercedes Paz/Gabriela Sabatini (ARG) 7-6, 5-7, 20-18.

The previous record in men’s singles event set in 2004 in the bronze medal when Fernando Gonzalez defeated Taylor Dent in the third set, 16-14.

“He served unbelievable, it’s really difficult. But I was strong tonight and I am really happy to go through,” Tsonga said after the match.

Milos Raonic

“I’m on the wrong part of Olympic history. It’s nice to be somewhere but hopefully I can change that and put my name on the right part,” said Raonic.

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

“This is the only way for me to write my name in history at the moment,” Tsonga said in reference to the domination of the top three men in the world at major tournaments.

“(The record) It’s good for tennis and it’s good for sports.”

“(The win was) good for my confidence, but not really good for my body,” he said.

Tsonga will next face Feliciano Lopez for a place in the quarterfinals.