According to the ATP World Tour website, Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ontario recorded a significant victory on Thursday when he beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6, 6-4 in the third round of the Tennis Masters Series 1000 event in Rome, Italy. It was the first time in Raonic's career that he beat Tsonga.
In the match, Raonic had seven aces compared to Tsonga's six aces. Raonic also saved five break point opportunities, and was able to break Tsonga in the second set. In a very close match, Raonic won 74 of the 144 total points.
Then on Friday, Raonic advanced to the semifinal in Rome after defeating Tsonga's French fellow countryman Jeremy Chardy in the quarterfinals 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 on Saturday. Raonic will play Olympic bronze medalist (from the 2008 Olympic Games) Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Spanish legend Rafael Nadal (known as the King of Clay) will play Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the other semifinal.
The reason why Thursday's win was redemption for Raonic is because Tsonga beat Raonic in the second round of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The match is considered by many as one of the best tennis matches ever played at the Olympic Games, with Tsonga winning 6-3, 3-6, 25-23. The match lasted three hours and 57 minutes in the longest tennis match in Olympic history.
Prior to Thursday, Tsonga and Raonic had only met one other time before. Tsonga beat Raonic in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California by a score of 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
The win should give Raonic significant confidence because it comes about ten days before the 2014 French Open. Raonic's wins this week will also be on a similar surface that will probably be used at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro--clay.