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Tsonga vs Raonic ATP Stuttgart Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Tsonga and Raonic battle for quarter final spot in Stuttgart

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 11 Jun 2019
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Milos Raonic is live from Stuttgart on Wednesday, 12 June from 12:30pm local time/ 11:30am BST
  • Raonic leads the head-to-head 4-2, and has won the last four meetings
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (PA sport)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga goes after his 450th tour-level win, and a spot in the quarter finals of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart when he takes on Milos Raonic on Wednesday.

Both men registered contrasting first round victories, with Tsonga easing past 2017 semi-finalist, Mischa Zverev 6-3 6-0, and Raonic battling past Australian young gun, Alexei Popyrin in a final-set tie break.

Playing his first ever match in Stuttgart, and his first match on grass in two years, Tsonga made very light work of Zverev, dispatching the struggling German, who has won just one tour-level match all season, in straight sets. The Frenchman served at 88%, firing down 13 aces and dropping just four points on his first serve. Zverev stuck with Tsonga through the first six games, but the former Australian Open finalist pulled away from 3-3, winning nine games in a row to bag his first win on grass since a second round victory over Simone Bolelli at Wimbledon in 2017. 

The former world No. 5 had missed the entire grass-court season last year, as he was recuperating from knee surgery. He had the surgery in April and didn't return to the tour until September, and by the end of the year, his ranking was well outside the top-200.

Tsonga has done a fine job of rebuilding that ranking in 2019, working his way to a current mark of to 79th. He has already won a title this season- in Montpellier- while he made semi-finals in Brisbane and Marrakech and quarter finals in Rotterdam and Lyon to build up a decent 18-9 record for the season.

“It’s never easy to play your first match on grass, especially against Mischa, who is a good server,” said Tsonga, after his first round victory in Stuttgart. “With the year I’ve had last year, I just want to play and do my best during the grass swing. There is no special goal.”

Next up for Tsonga is a big-serving duel with Milos Raonic, a finalist at this event last season.

Raonic is playing his first tournament since the Miami Open, having been sidelined by a knee injury- the latest in a series of injuries that have dogged the Canadian in the last few seasons.

The former world No. 3 lost the first set in his tournament opener against Alexei Popyrin on Tuesday, but he recovered to win 6-7 6-4 7-6, powering down 31 aces in the 2 hours and 12 minutes encounter. The Canadian served at only 49%, but he made up for that with a 94% conversion rate on his first serve, and 63% on his second. 

Raonic improves to 12-6 for the season, with his best result being a semi-final at Indian Wells, and quarter finals in Brisbane and the Australian Open. The 28-year-old is playing in Stuttgart for the second straight year, having made the final last season (lost to Roger Federer). 

Raonic also had injury problems before Stuttgart last year, as he had pulled out of the French Open due to a knee problem that had bothered him through the clay-court court season. 

That Stuttgart final was his only title match in 2018, with his other key results being semis at Indian Wells and quarter-finals at Wimbledon, Miami, Cincinnati and Tokyo as he pushed back into the top-20 having dropped as low as 40th in February. However, his year ended on an injury note, as he withdrew from a third round meeting with Roger Federer at the Paris Masters due to an elbow injury.

When Raonic is fit, he is a very dangerous player on grass, and he showed last year that he can still produce on this surface even after an injury lay-off. Can he emulate his 2018 run and go deep at the Mercedes Cup?

Raonic lost his first two matches against Tsonga, but he has won the last four meetings without dropping a set. This will be their first match on grass.

Tsonga is no slouch with the serve, but Raonic's serve is one of the most fearsome weapons in all of men's tennis, and it is especially potent on this surface. He's got momentum in his series with Tsonga, and has also got the feel-good factor of doing well in Stuttgart last season. Fitness and match practice remain a concern, but his two-hour battle against Popyrin should have sharpened him up for what is to come.

On this surface, he starts as a slight favourite against Tsonga.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Milos Raonic is live from Stuttgart on Wednesday, 12 June from 12:30pm local time/ 11:30am BST

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Tsonga vs Raonic ATP Stuttgart Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Tsonga and Raonic battle for quarter final spot in Stuttgart

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Milos Raonic go head-to-head in Stuttgart with a spot in the quarter finals on the line. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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