Australian Open

Tsonga books quarters spot

2013-01-21 08:53
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (AFP)

Melbourne - Former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga sang the praises of new coach Roger Rasheed after he reached the Australian Open quarter-finals Monday in his quest for a maiden Grand Slam win.

The 2008 runner-up was too strong for French compatriot and ninth seed Richard Gasquet, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in 2hr 20min on Rod Laver Arena, and now will face either Roger Federer or Milos Raonic in the last eight.

It was seventh seed Tsonga's second win over his close friend at the Australian Open, having beaten Gasquet in the fourth round on the way to the 2008 final, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

Tsonga said his game was benefiting from working with his new Australian coach Rasheed, the former mentor to Lleyton Hewitt and Gael Monfils, as he seeks his Grand Slam breakthrough.

"He's giving me an extra motivation. It's great because he's always positive. He wants maybe more than me to win. He's incredible," Tsonga said.

"So I try to be at his level and have exactly the same motivation because I think he can move some mountains, because he's very motivated.

"It's different because last year I was here by myself. This year, I'm with Rog. It's just great to be with him.

"He gives me good advice, so I hope I will continue to play good tennis and hope we'll have some good victory together."

Tsonga was largely in control of the match with four service breaks, 37 winners and a strong serving performance winning 81 percent of his first serves.

He broke Gasquet's opening service game and although down three break points, served out for the first set.

Gasquet hit back by winning the second set with his only service break of the match in the fourth game, only for Tsonga to close it out with one service break in the third set and two in the last.


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