Moselle Open, France
[CR11] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) began his campaign to retain his Moselle Open title and his opponent was [CR66] Gilles Muller (LUX).
On paper it should have been an easy victory for Tsonga; however, Muller has the game that can give opponents trouble when he is on. He has a good serve, which is aided by the fact that he plays left-handed, he can change the pace on his shots and volleys fairly decently. Muller gets into trouble because he misses too many easy shots. His paucity of agility on court and his questionable fitness may also contribute to his lack of success on the tour. Despite his skills and years on tour, he still has not won an ATP Tour title.
Tennis is game where you cannot hide. The losses just seem to be magnified more because your response is sometimes so painfully obvious. Yet the reasons why you lost can be as simple as “you woke up feeling a bit off” to something more complex or serious. There are many physical reasons why a player loses, but the reasons that do not get enough attention, are the emotional/psychological ones. Many players are never able to get over the psychological hurdles to claim that championship trophy.
Muller resisted Tsonga’s onslaught and took the first set to a tie breaker but lost it due to an errant shot, one of many. He was not discouraged and though he continued to fight in the second, he would eventually lose the match 7-6(7), 6-4.