Tsonga fights back to reach last eight
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga battled back to reach the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open as he defeated Spaniard Nicolas Almagro for the third time this season with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 win.
France’s third-seed, playing the clay event for the first time, finds himself in a Friday surprise showdown with Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker, who upset seventh seed Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 7-6 (7/4).
Tsonga has now beaten the 15th-seeded Almagro in all of their 2010 meetings, earning victories at the Australian Open - it went to 9-7 in the fifth set - and a week ago in straight sets.
The Frenchman now stands 17-7 on the season as he looks for his first-ever title on clay.
Tsonga was beaten on a late break of serve in the opening set by Almagro.
But Tsonga imposed his big game for 5-0 in the second on the way back to level-pegging at a set apiece. The seed went up an early break in the third set to ice the victory, firing eight aces and breaking four times.
David Ferrer booked his last-eight spot in 44 minutes when Simone Bolelli quit injured.