ATP Tour

Tsonga blasts past Berdych

2015-05-31 20:22
(Pascal Guyot, AFP)

Paris - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat fourth seed Tomas Berdych at Roland Garros on Sunday, winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 to show the way into the quarter-finals for a five-strong French contingent.

Played in cold, damp conditions, Berdych looked out of sorts from the start, allowing Tsonga to dominate rally after rally with his powerful serve and shot-making.

The Czech player rallied briefly in the third set as Tsonga's level dropped, but after a brief scare at the start of the fourth set, Tsonga won five games in a row to move through.

The 14th seeded Frenchman will next play Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori for what would be his second ever appearance in the French Open semi-finals after that of 2013.

"I was into the match from the start, but he is a great champion and stuck with it," Tsonga said.

"I had a little bit of a concentration lapse and I had been talking to my coaches about that.

"And that's what helped me win in four sets. That's the best match I have played in some time."

Tsonga is one of five French players into the last 16, equalling the best home showing at Roland Garros in the Open-era since 1968.

But on the two previous occasions that happened, only one man reached the quarter-finals.

No Frenchman has won at Roland Garros since Yannick Noah in 1983 and prior to that it was Marcel Bernard in 1946.

Meanwhile Swiss eighth seed Stan Wawrinka eased into the quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over French 12th seed Gilles Simon.

Wawrinka will face either second seeded compatriot Roger Federer or home hope Gael Monfils, the 13th seed, for a place in the semi-finals.

Read more on:    roland garros  |  french open  |  france  |  tennis

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