Australian Open

Tsonga brings Evans down to earth

2017-01-22 12:29
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Getty Images)

Melbourne - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga became the first Frenchman to reach five quarter-finals at the Australian Open with a four-set win over Britain's Dan Evans on Sunday.

The 2008 finalist and 12th seed won 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 over the 51st-ranked Evans in two hours and 53 minutes to set up a last-eight match with Stan Wawrinka.

Wawrinka leads Tsonga 4-3 in their meetings and has won their past three matches.

"It's going to be a tough match. I know Stan's playing really good. It's going to be important for me to play my best level," Tsonga said.

"It's going to be a good challenge for me to play against Stan."

Tsonga has previously reached the quarter-finals in Australia in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013.

Tsonga overtook compatriot Sebastien Grosjean for most quarter-final appearances in Melbourne with his convincing victory over Evans, who knocked out Australian 27th seed Bernard Tomic in the previous round.

Tsonga, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the Australian final nine years ago, broke Evans's serve four times and didn't drop his own serve as he advanced to the last eight in Melbourne for the first time in four years.

The Frenchman hit 17 aces among his 59 winners, with his powerful forehand accounting for 18 of them, as he took command of the round of 16 match on Hisense Arena after losing the opening-set tiebreaker.

"Two days ago I played against Jack Sock, and I did 73 winners or something like that. So that's my game," Tsonga said.

"I don't want to let the other player play on the court and make me run too much. I want to do the game. It's working well."

It finished an impressive week for Evans, who achieved his best performance at a Grand Slam by reaching the round of 16 with victories over former US Open champion Marin Cilic and Tomic.

"Definitely been the most exciting (week). Probably won't happen again. It's been pretty cool actually, yeah," Evans said of his summer stint in Australia, where he also reached the final of the Sydney International.


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