Tsonga stops Go in Melbourne

2013-01-17 07:36

Melbourne - Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said he was looking to play more aggressively after fending off Japan's Go Soeda to make the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday.

The 2008 runner-up was made to toil hard in the heat for his 6-3, 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 win over 73rd-ranked Soeda in 2hr 3min on Margaret Court Arena.

It was seventh-seeded Tsonga's second victory in straight sets in the tournament and puts him in the last 32 where he will face an unseeded opponent, Australian James Duckworth or Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic.

However, Tsonga was far from happy with his performance despite taking his record to 3-0 against Soeda.

"Not really, because I didn't play a good match," he said. "I did have a good attitude and for the next match I will try to be a bit more aggressive, try to play more than my game than what I did today.

"But anyway I'm happy to go through, I hope I will be better in the next one."

Tsonga had trouble on the quick court in the stifling conditions but despite being taken to a tiebreaker in the second set he largely had control of the match.

"It was hot today and it wasn't easy because the ball was flying a lot because of the heat," he said.

Tsonga, who hired Australian Roger Rasheed as his coach late last year, said he was ready to take the next step at the Grand Slams.

"I've done some good results already, but I want to make the next step," he said.

"I'm just working for that. I'm doing everything to achieve these things. My only goal is to play well in the major tournaments."

Tsonga began well in the opening set but encountered stiffer resistance in the second set from Soeda, who broke the Frenchman's serve in the second game before he gave up the break with a forced error in the ninth.

Tsonga was on song in the tiebreaker, ripping through with two mini-breaks before clinching it on the back of a 24-stroke rally.

It was plain sailing in the final set for the Frenchman with a break in the sixth game, and he finished the match with 17 aces and 44 winners.