Cilic Passes Tsonga Test
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga competed at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters for the final time on Monday after he lost to Croatian Marin Cilic in the first round.
The Frenchman, who recently announced he will be retiring after Roland Garros, was unable to handle Cilic’s aggressive groundstrokes, with the World No. 22 triumphing 6-2, 6-2 after 69 minutes.
With his victory, Cilic now leads Tsonga 7-2 in their ATP Head2Head series and will next face Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz or wild card Lucas Catarina. The 33-year-old is a 20-time tour-level champion and has clinched titles on clay in Umag (2012) and Istanbul (2017).
Tsonga has enjoyed success on the courts at the Monte-Carlo Country Club over the years, advancing to the semi-finals in 2013 and 2016. The former World No. 5 has earned standout wins over Roger Federer and 2014 titlist Stan Wawrinka at the clay -short event.
Hubert Hurkacz started his clay-court season with a hard-fought win, overcoming Bolivian qualifier Hugo Dellien 7-5, 6-4 to reach the second round.
The Pole clinched three tour-level titles in a standout 2021 season, including his first ATP Masters 1000 crown in Miami. The 11 th seed is still searching for his first trophy of 2022, though, but he produced a gritty baseline display against Dellien, hammering his groundstrokes and scampering around the court to advance after one hour and 40 minutes.
The World No. 14, who is making his third appearance in Monte-Carlo, will next meet Spaniard Pedro Martinez or Frenchman Ugo Humbert. Hurkacz will be aiming to improve his clay-court results this season, having held a 1-4 record on the surface in 2021.