Olympic Tennis: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's Tired Legs Will Be His Downfall

Oliver ThomasContributor IAugust 1, 2012

Jo-Wilfied Tsonga may have been tired, but he had enough energy to celebrate after his second-round victory.
Jo-Wilfied Tsonga may have been tired, but he had enough energy to celebrate after his second-round victory.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga may still be in contention to win a medal in tennis singles at the London Olympics. But he didn't do himself any favors by defeating Milos Raonic in their second-round match on July 31.

That's because his duel against Canada's Raonic was the longest set match in Olympic history, according to the DailyMail.co.uk.

Tsonga ultimately bested Raonic, after splitting the first two sets 6-3, 3-6. However, the 25-23 third set took all the energy out of the 27-year-old Frenchman. In total, the battle lasted three hours and 57 minutes.

Tsonga had this to say about where he stands in the sport, via DailyMail.co.uk:

The Frenchman said: 'It's good because this is the only way to write my name in history for the moment. With Rafa, Roger and Novak, even Andy (Murray), it's tough to go through big tournaments. So I'm really happy. I hope I will have some more.'

His triumph over the 21-year-old Raonic may be good for the sport and for France, yet it's not good for Tsonga's rocky road ahead. He has to focus on a difficult third-round matchup: Spain's Feliciano Lopez.

In today's Round 3 match, there will be no more recognition for Tsonga's enduring fight against Raonic. It will be simply about who is the better player in the heat of the moment.

Lopez knocked off Argentina's No. 9 seed Juan Monaco, after a 6-4, 6-4 performance in the second round.

Much like the John Isner-Nicolas Mahut 2010 Wimbledon match that lasted 11 hours, Tsonga will have to remain mentally and physically in tune if he wants to stay alive in the tournament.

For what it's worth, Isner didn't fare well after that marathon match against Mahut two years ago. During Wimbledon's second-round, he lost to Thiemo De Bakker: 6-0, 6-3, 6-2, via ESPN.com.

Tsonga's first-round Olympic match may not have been as tiring as the Isner-Mahut match, but it won't help his odds against Lopez.

At least for Tsonga, the upcoming match will be more about endurance than about skill.