Tsonga survives tough test

2012-01-03 19:05
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (AP)

Doha - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga laboured to a first-round victory at the Qatar Open on Tuesday, defeating wildcard Malek Jaziri in three sets in blustery conditions.

The third-seeded Frenchman triumphed 7-6, 6-7, 6-1 after struggling with his forehand on Doha's centre court.

"I played a lot last year to come back into the top 10, it was really difficult for me," Tsonga said in a courtside interview.

"I came into this tournament without very good preparation. However, I'm here and hopefully I will play good tennis."

The first two sets went with serve as the players traded tiebreaks before Tsonga, ranked six in the world, took a 3-1 lead in the final set, winning the next two games to love as he wore down the bulky Jaziri.

Tsonga, 26, played a clever lob to earn two match points, sealing victory after the Tunisian put a forehand into the net.

There was little between the players in the first two sets. At 6-5 ahead in the first, Tsonga missed a straightforward forehand to allow his opponent to pull level.

The subsequent tiebreak was riddled with errors, Jaziri serving two double faults and Tsonga one. Tsonga recovered from a mini-break down to clinch the set with a fierce serve that Jaziri, 27, could only club into the net.

Jaziri, the world No 118, saved a break point in the opening game of the second set, dashing to the net to dispatch a whipped winner, and both players increasingly moved in from the baseline, with Tsonga often struggling to return shots played around his feet.

Yet neither player could find a break and the second set concluded with another tiebreak.

Jaziri surged into a 4-1 lead, digging out a brilliant drop shot volley as he charged into the net after Tsonga had given away two points with unforced errors.

The 2008 Australian Open runner-up recovered to take the score to 6-5, but a wide forehand allowed Jaziri to square the match.

Early results from ATP Qatar Open on Tuesday (x denotes seeding):

First round

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) bt Pablo Andujar (ESP) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS x7) bt Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-2
Grega Zemlja (SLO) bt Sergei Bubka (UKR) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x3) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (5/7), 6-1
Denis Gremelmayr (GER) bt Potito Starace (ITA) 6-3, 6-2
Matthias Bachinger (GER) bt Roberto Bautista (ESP) 6-3, 6-4
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-7 (1/7), 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)

Read more on:    qatar open  |  jo-wilfried tsonga

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.