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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga soars into Rotterdam quarter-finals

The Frenchman’s 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 victory was a match of two parts, with the labourious first set taking 53 minutes while the second lasted for just 23.

tennis Updated: Feb 14, 2019 23:28 IST
AFP
AFP
Rotterdam
France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga gestures after victory in his men's singles match against Netherlands' Tallon Griekspoor on day four of the 46th edition of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam on February 14, 2019
France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga gestures after victory in his men's singles match against Netherlands' Tallon Griekspoor on day four of the 46th edition of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam on February 14, 2019(AFP)
         

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won a lengthy opening set and then accelerated past Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor for a quarter-final place at the Rotterdam Open on Thursday.

The Frenchman’s 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 victory was a match of two parts, with the labourious first set taking 53 minutes while the second lasted for just 23.

Tsonga, the 2017 champion in Rotterdam, will keep up his bid for a second straight trophy after winning Montpellier at the weekend as he continues his comeback from a seven-month absence last season due to knee surgery and recovery.

The 33-year-old also looks set for another ranking rise from number 140 as his comeback progress intensifies.

“At the start I played well, but he was solid also,” 33-year-old Tsonga, now ranked at 140, said after seeing off the 211-ranked Dutchman.

“I took care of my serve and stuck to the game plan. I had my opportunities and he may have missed one or two balls more in the tiebreaker. I took my chances there.”

Tsonga next faces fifth-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev who defeated Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco for the second time in three meetings, posting a 6-2, 7-5 win.

Medvedev, a Rotterdam quarter-finalist on his 2018 debut, has carried the momentum he gained from his fourth career title last weekend in Sofia.

The 23-year-old improved to 13-2 on the season.

Bosnian Damir Dzumhur followed up on his second-round upset of third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, advancing past Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 7-6 (7/3).

Dzumhur will be playing his first quarter-final of the season when he takes on French crowd-pleaser Gael Monfils.

First Published: Feb 14, 2019 23:25 IST