ATP Montreal Quarterfinals: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Nicolas Almagro Preview

Shane LambertAnalyst IIAugust 12, 2011

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried TsongaMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga scored his second straight victory over Roger Federer on Thursday evening and advanced into the quarterfinals of the Montreal Masters.

Next up is Nicolas Almagro, a clay court expert and a player who does not normally make the quarterfinals during hard court Masters level tournaments.

Tsonga, a heavy favorite to win this quarterfinal match, is 4-0 against Almagro in their head to head history with all four of their matches having been played in the last two seasons. The one hard court match that they have played against one another was a classic confrontation as Almagro extended Tsonga to a 9-7 fifth set in the fourth-round of the 2010 Australian Open.

However, if Almagro can keep things close on Friday evening then he will have done well as the world No. 10 doesn't typically challenge the top players on tour on the hard court surface. On clay Almagro can hang around with anyone and the clay court events are the main source of Almagro's ranking points.

The Spaniard hardly bothers with the hard court events—unless he's obligated to do so. This is the case for players in Montreal, as the hard court match is a mandatory event for the top ranked players.

Back in Miami and Indian Wells the current world No. 10 lost to Florian Mayer and Albert Montanes, two players who are lesser talents compared to Tsonga. It was actually moderately surprising to see the Spaniard best Richard Gasquet in Montreal's third-round on Thursday.

Look for Tsonga to advance to the semifinals where he might prove himself to be a worth challenger to Novak Djokovic, a potential semifinal matchup in Montreal that looks like the de facto final.

Tsonga and Almagro are on Montreal's evening session on Friday with a start time around 5:30 pm ET.