© Ella Ling

Miami 2012 - Tsonga 3

Olympic diary: yet another record on the grass


Wimbledon is getting quite used to records being broken on its grass courts, it seems. First there was the Isner-Mahut 70-68 epic. Then the Shvedova golden set 24-points-in-a-row marvel. And then… Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Milos Raonic’s 25-23 third set, the longest third set in Olympic tennis history (48 games), and the longest three-set match in Olympic tennis history (66 games).

“For me it’s good,” Tsonga said. “For me it’s good because this is the only way to write my name in the history for the moment (smiling). With Rafa, Roger and Novak, even Andy, it’s tough to go through big tournaments. So I’m really happy. I hope I will have some more.”

Tsonga needed four match points to finally see off the Canadian serve-bomber, and was so exhausted by the end that he performed an abbreviated version of his celebrated
bound-around-the-court-and-fistpump dance. But, their record is already in danger of being broken. At the close of play, Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek were locked at 18-18 in the third set of their doubles match against Bruno Soares and Marcelo
Melo. Sheesh.

The mixed doubles of the Olympic tennis event has been one of the most hotly anticipated parts of this Olympics at Wimbledon, and speculation was finally brought to a close when the pairings were announced and 16-pair draw made this afternoon. Top of the British interest billing, are, of course, Andy Murray and Laura Robson, whom Robson claims are ‘pretty good at doubles’ , whilst confessing that they are ‘equal’ in boss-terms. “[It] should be really fun playing with Andy,” Robson said. “There’s no reason we can’t play well together. I think I’m fairly decent at doubles, depending on how my serve is doing. Andy is obviously one of the best returners in teh world, so we’ve definitely got a chance. If we get put on a big court, it should be a good atmosphere, like it was for my singles today. Hopefully people will rock up.”

Also ones to look out for are Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka, Nenad Zimonjic and Ana Ivanovic, Lisa Raymond and Mike Bryan, and Liezel Huber and Bob Bryan, Sam Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt. Aside from the Brits, the loudest court is sure to be the one supporting Sania Mirza and Leander Paes.

Who needs style when you have Jo-Wilfried Tsonga? The Frenchman spent much of his Olympic record-breaking third set running around with his pockets turned inside out.

For anyone wondering how I’m getting on with my ‘pinning’ quest, I still only have two. Laura Robson, on the other hand, had so many pins on her pass today that it looked almost as heavy as a medal.