Tsonga digs deep to reel in Shapovalov

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 18 Jan 2018 11:30:03


 

MELBOURNE,

FORMER winner Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fought to the bitter end to overhaul rising Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov in a five-set thriller at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
The 15th seeded Tsonga looked dead and buried down 2-5 in the final set before 18-year-old Shapovalov faltered in only his second five-setter and the experienced Frenchman seized the initiative.


Tsonga, 32, stormed into the third round after a 3-6, 6- 3, 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 win in 3hr 37min on Margaret Court Arena and will now face either Australian 17th seed Nick Kyrgios or Serbia’s Viktor Troicki.


It ended his three-match losing run in five-setters, but lifted his career record to 16-10 and reversed his loss to Shapovalov in straight sets in the second round at last year’s US Open.
“Since the start I was behind him. I had to fight a lot and make him finish the match. He never did, so it’s good for me,” Tsonga said.


“But the most important (thing) for me, it’s to fight, give my best on court until the last point. That’s what I did today.
“I think he deserved to win also today, but I was also courageous and I did my job at the end. I played well. I think I deserve it, too.”


It extended Tsonga’s record at his best-performed Australian Open Grand Slam to 36-10 after he was runner-up to Novak Djokovic in the 2008 final. Shapovalov said he would learn from the experience of losing after holding a winning position.