Tsonga battles injury for five-set win

2015-06-30 20:16
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga shakes hands after defeating Gilles Muller at Wimbledon. (Pavel Golovkin, AP)

London - An abdomen injury that scuppered Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's Wimbledon warm-up plans stood up to the test of a five-set battle as he reached the second round with a nerve-jangling 7-6(8) 6-7(3) 6-4 3-6 6-2 win over Gilles Muller.

The French 13th seed was a no-show at Den Bosch, Halle and Nottingham, but the lack of preparation did little to dim his desire as he traded blows for almost four hours in sweltering conditions with the left-hander from Luxembourg.

The 30°C heat that had turned the sunken Court Two into a suffocating sauna was not to everyone's liking, with one female spectator tipping a bottle of water over her head to keep cool.

For Tsonga, however, the hottest day of the year in London was the least of his worries.

"The weather was good to play tennis..wasn't too humid. Was okay for me," said Tsonga, twice a semi-finalist at the All England Club.

"In Australia we play (in) 42°C on court. We will see if it's going to be 42°C. But for the moment, it's not 42. We can play tennis."

What was worrying for Tsonga, though, was his inability to penetrate Muller's serve.

Grass and indoors

Six break points went begging in the first set and none emerged in the second set that Muller snatched on a tiebreak, before Tsonga finally broke the deadlock in the fifth game of third.

The Frenchman's relief was shortlived, however. Muller broke for the first time in the second game of the fourth and that blow was enough to stretch the match into a decider.

"I thought it's going to be difficult, and it was," said Tsonga, who hurled down 38 aces en route to setting up a second-round date with Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

"He's a very good player, especially on grass and indoors. He likes that kind of surface.

AFP reported other results: (x denoted seeding)

Men:    1st round

Vasek Pospisil (CAN) bt Vincent Millot (FRA) 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-3

Fabio Fognini (ITA x30) bt Tim Smyczek (USA) 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

Viktor Troicki (SRB x22) bt Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Dustin Brown (GER) bt Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4

Albert Ramos (ESP) bt Denis Istomin (UZB) 6-2, 6-2, 3-2 - retired

Aleksandr Dolgopolov (UKR) bt Kyle Edmund (GBR) 7-6 (7/4), 6-1, 6-2

Ivo Karlovic (CRO x23) bt Elias Ymer (SWE) 6-7 (2/7), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2)

Andreas Seppi (ITA x25) bt Brydan Klein (GBR) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Borna Coric (CRO) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 1-6, 9-7

Robin Haase (NED) bt Alejandro Falla (COL) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2

Luks Rosol (CZE) bt Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 7-6 (7/2), 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)

Blaz Kavcic (SLO) bt Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)

Gilles Simon (FRA x12) bt Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 6-4, 6-4, 7-5

Feliciano Lopez (ESP x15) bt Steve Darcis (BEL) 6-2, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4

Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) bt Facundo Bagnis (ARG) 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2

Benot Paire (FRA) bt Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 6-4, 6-4, 6-3

Roberto Bautista (ESP x20) bt Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6)

Samuel Groth (AUS) bt Jack Sock (USA x31) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

James Duckworth (AUS) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 3-6, 3-6, 7-5

Sam Querrey (USA) bt Igor Sijsling (NED) 7-5, 6-3, 6-4

Women:  1st round

Heather Watson (GBR) bt Caroline Garcia (FRA x32) 1-6, 6-3, 8-6

Camila Giorgi (ITA x31) bt Teliana Pereira (BRA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3

Garbie Muguruza (ESP x20) bt Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-4, 6-1

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO) bt Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) bt Mona Barthel (GER) 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2

Angelique Kerber (GER x10) bt Carina Witthoeft (GER) 6-0, 6-0

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x26) bt Laura Siegemund (GER) 6-3, 6-4

Kristna Plskov (CZE) bt Tereza Smitkov (CZE) 3-6, 7-5, 7-5

Monica Niculescu (ROM) bt Mnica Puig (PUR) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1

Jana Cepelov (SVK) bt Simona Halep (ROM x3) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3

Olga Govortsova (BLR) bt Andreea Mitu (ROM) 6-1, 6-1

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x13) bt Lucie Hradeck (CZE) 6-3, 6-2

Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) bt Klara Koukalova (CZE) 6-3, 6-4

Casey Dellacqua (AUS) bt Tamira Paszek (AUT) 6-2, 6-2

Elina Svitolina (UKR x17) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

Jelena Jankovic (SRB x28) bt Elena Vesnina (RUS) 6-4, 3-6, 10-8

Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) bt Laura Robson (GBR) 6-4, 6-4

Kurumi Nara (JPN) bt Magda Linette (POL) 3-6, 6-3, 4-3 - retired.

Read more on:    wimbledon 2015  |  jo-wilfried tsonga  |  uk  |  tennis

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