Result: Tsonga passes Stepanek challenge

Jo-Wifried Tsonga
© PA Photos
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats Radek Stepanek in a physically-draining three-set battle in Indian Wells.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has defeated Radek Stepanek in a physically-draining three-set battle in Indian Wells.

The Dubai Champion and his Czech opponent put on an exhibition of perfect serving in the opening set, as all twelve games went with serve to set up a tie-break which Stepanek took 7-2.

The 28th seed continued to frustrate Tsonga early in the second, as his guile and variation unsettled the Frenchman, who tried in vein to earn an illusive break.

After 92 minutes of play, Tsonga finally succeeded in claiming the vital first break of the match, as two weak serves from the Czech were emphatically punished by forehand returns.

After holding to see out the second and then continuing to dominate on his serve early in the third, Tsonga broke Stepanek's serve in game five before sealing the 6-7 6-3 6-2 win.