The Franco-Congolese Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, after his explosive performance, at the first round of the Australian Open, when he sent Andy Murray (Men’s no.9) packing, continues his path in the competition, and after two more wins, surges into the fourth round.
How to send Murray packing
On Day 1, at the end of more than 3 hours of an intense battle in four sets 7-5, 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (7/5), Jo-Wilfried overcomes the young prodigy of British tennis, Andy MURRAY, whose recent win in Doha (Qatar Open) made him one of the main competitors for the title.
Jo takes the early initiative, by adopting an offensive strategy, using his powerful service and forehand, he leads and destabilizes the British prodigy. With a strong will to go ahead, he comes offensively to the net and thus finds keys of success during both first sets. Murray never recovers after Jo, even if he powers back into contention after taking the third set 6-0. Murray rallies to completely dominate this set, and Jo said after the match “I was tired, so I let slip the third set, and better fight in the fourth”.
He tough it out, and the end of the match becomes tighter with suspense. His offensive strategy forces Murray into key errors, and a last one in the tie break allows Jo to takes the match. At the moment he shakes the hand of his opponent, a warm ovation from the whole crowd comes for this player who imposes respect as well as he entertains the audience.
Against American Sam Warburg, at 2nd round, Jo thrills again.
At the end of 3 tight sets, the Frenchman Tsonga overcomes the American Sam Warburg, 6-4 7-6(7-4) 6-2. Fresh from earlier win over Murray, Tsonga delights the crowd, and shows all his class with smart play. At the beginning of the match both players struggle in a tight game. Tsonga breaks this rhythm in the seventh game with a beautiful lob over Warburg, and goes to win the first set 6-4. In the second, Warburg surrenders an early break and serves for the set at 5-4, but fails after Tsonga netted a backhand. Three games after, and a tie-break has to take place during which Tsonga dominates his opponent to end this second set, and this pattern prevails in the third and final set, allowing Jo to surge into the third round of the competition.
A walkover third-round
Impressive display, it takes only 103 minutes to Tsonga to send his third-round opponent, the Spanish Guillermo GARCIA-LOPEZ, packing, and 3 sets 6-3 6-4 6-2. During the second set, the Spaniard asks for medical attention, feeling unwell due to humid conditions. Despite this, he decides to continue the match: “I can play but not with the intensity that I want to,” Garcia-Lopez told the trainer that came out to assist. “I won’t stop playing though.” As the conditions continues to disturb the Spaniard, in the third set Tsonga has no difficulty to victoriously conclude the match.
After these sizzling performances in the beginning of the competition, it is finally the forming of the career of this powerful athlete (1.87m, 90 kg), which until now has been strongly unsettled by number of wounds. It had shown himself some months ago when attaining the 8th of the final of the tournament of Wimbledon and to by well starting the year during the Adelaïde tournament, when he overcame Lleyton Hewitt.
He continues his charge at Australian Open 2008, and surges into the fourth round during which he will play with his French compatriot and friend, Men’s N.8, Richard Gasquet.