Tsonga wins mist-effected final against Monfils
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lifted his first piece of silverware in 2012, defeating Gaels Monfils in straight sets in the final of the Qatar Open on Saturday.
In extremely misty conditions that surely would have seen the match postponed in other tournaments throughout the year, both players looked inhibited as they struggled to keep their balance on the slippery surface. However, Tsonga became the dominant force as the match progressed, eventually taking the contest 7-5 6-3.
Monfils started superbly and dropped just five points in his opening four service games. He worked a break but when serving for the set he found Tsonga upping his level and some punishing strokes from the world No. 6 secured the break back.
It was a momentum shift that ultimately proved crucial as Tsonga held with ease and then broke to love to claim the set, turning the match on its head within the space of just a handful of games.
Tsonga then served to love and broke early in the second as a disinterested-looking Monfils fired a string of wayward shots. Monfils' serve had largely got him out of trouble in the opening set, but his inconsistent ground strokes saw him looking increasingly vulnerable in the third.
The mist had a telling impact in the fourth game of second set, as Tsonga slipped on a Qatar sign and took a nasty tumble. Tsonga took a towel to the area in question in a bid to remedy the problem, but one point later he fell again after a sublime Monfils lob.
He managed to quickly put his problems to one side though, closing out the match to lay down an early statement as he chases a maiden grand slam title.
At the Chennai Open, top seed Janko Tipsarevic will face Milos Raonic in the final after Raonic beat second seed Nicolas Almagro in the game of the day.