ATP Tour Open 13: Breaking Down Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's Path to the Championship

Shawn Brubaker@@63brubakerContributor IIFebruary 25, 2013

Jan 23, 2013; Melbourne, AUSTRALIA; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) reacts during his match against Roger Federer (SUI) on day ten of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park.  Mandatory Credit: Pierre Lahalle/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports
Presse Sports-USA TODAY Sports

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has won the 2013 ATP Tour Open 13, winning a thrilling final over Tomas Berdych to take the championship. The road was long and hard for Tsonga, with a thrilling quarterfinals victory highlighting Tsonga's tough path.

In the end, though, the world's ATP World Tour eighth-ranked player was able to assert his status as one of the world's best.

Let's take a look at his path to the championship, starting with his second-round victory over Nikolay Davydenko.

Tsonga def. Nikolay Davydenko (7-6 (7-1), 6-3)

Tsonga asserted dominance early in the tournament, handling Davydenko easily. The Frenchman served nine aces and pulled firmly away from Davydenko midway through the second set. After starting the set 2-2, Tsonga capitalized on a poor set from Davydenko to take control for good.

Tsonga won four of the last five games to win in two sets.

Tsonga def. Bernard Tomic (4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (12-10))

The Frenchman Tsonga found trouble in his second match, struggling to handle the unseeded Australian. Tomic actually took the first set despite a strong start from Tsonga.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

From there, though, Tsonga was able to retake control. He handily won the second set, while the third came down to a tiebreak.

Tsonga eventually took the tiebreak and the match on the strength of his serve. The Frenchman had had 19 aces to Tomic's seven, which played a big role in Tomic's inability to finish the match.

Tsonga def. No. 6 Gilles Simon (6-2, 6-2)

In Tsonga's least dramatic match of the tournament, Tsonga easily handled the sixth-seed Gilles Simon. His power served him well here, as Simon was hard pressed to return Tsonga's powerful serves.

Tsonga def. No. 1 Tomas Berdych (3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4)

In another exciting match, Tsonga fell back early as Berdych took the first set. The two traded games in the second set, culminating in a back-and-forth tie break eventually taken by Tsonga.

Tsonga was finally able to pull away in the third set, taking it 6-4. He sealed the tournament when a Berdych forehand fell into the net.

Tsonga displayed his usual power on a variety of shots en route to the Open 13 title. The win is his first of the year after a strong performance in the Australian Open saw him fall to Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. He will play next in the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.