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Tsonga Hits 300 In Rome; Murray Beats Granollers In Opener

Rome, Italy

Tsonga© Getty ImagesJo-Wilfried Tsonga joins an elite group of Frenchmen with a career milestone reached in Rome.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga recorded the 300th tour-level win of his career as he edged Kevin Anderson 7-6(14), 7-6(5) in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia second round on Wednesday.

The Frenchman saved nine set points in the first set before prevailing in a more straightforward second-set breaker to claim victory in two hours and 15 minutes. He hit 40 winners to 18 unforced errors and fired 11 aces.

With his win, Tsonga becomes the 10th Frenchman in the Open Era to join the 300 match-wins club. Here is how he compares to his countrymen:

Player No. of Wins
1 Yannick Noah 476
2 Fabrice Santoro 470
3 Cedric Pioline 389
4 Guy Forget 378
5 Henri Leconte 377
6 Richard Gasquet 361
7 Sebastien Grosjean 341
8 Arnaud Clement 316
9 Gilles Simon 309 (going into Rome 2R)
10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 300 (going into Rome 3R)

The 29-year-old Tsonga is looking to reach the quarter-finals in Rome for the third time and goes on to face Milos Raonic on Thursday. Tsonga has won his two previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings with Raonic, though this will be their first clay-court contest.

Twelve months on from having to retire against Marcel Granollers in the second round, Andy Murray enjoyed a much happier time of it Wednesday in a re-match against the Spaniard as he prevailed 6-2, 7-5 to open his Rome campaign.

After undergoing back surgery in September, the 26-year-old Murray has struggled to find his best form on his return to action this season, but dealt well with the very blustery conditions at the Foro Italico to beat Granollers in 86 minutes.

“You need to think your way through the match,” Murray told Sky Sports in an on-court interview. “You have to be patient with yourself. I went for a high percentage of first serves today because it's very, very windy and also the sun was coming round from one of the ends so that was in your eyes.

“All the dust and stuff was getting in your eyes. It was extremely blustery, strong conditions. From one of the ends it was really tough to get any real depth on the ball. I just tried to play a smart match.”

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The seventh-seeded Murray is looking to reach his first final since his historic triumph at Wimbledon last year, when he defeated Novak Djokovic to win his second Grand Slam championship. The Scot goes on to face Jurgen Melzer after the Austrian battled past Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3 in two hours and 22 minutes. Murray takes a 5-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head lead over Melzer into the third-round contest.

Latvian Ernests Gulbis, this week at a career-high No. 17 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, battled from one set down to defeat qualifier Stephane Robert 6-7(1), 6-4, 6-3 and faces fifth seed David Ferrer in the third round.

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