Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 15th seed, made the locals very happy at the French Open Sunday by upsetting fourth seed Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3. Tsonga overcame rainy conditions, a shouting fan and a break in his concentration to win. Jo-Wilfried is the first Frenchman to punch his ticket to the quarter-finals.
Tsonga was able to feed off the crowd’s support and put Berdych away with two aces to close out the fourth set, but he did give the crowd a bit of a scare. Jo-Wilfried had a chance to win in straight sets, but he went into a funk during the tie-breaker and his body language made it appear that he might be in for a big fall. Instead, Tsonga was able to dig deep down and cruise through the fourth set and cement his place in the next round. Sport 24 reported that Tsonga had to call upon some conversations he recently had with his coaches to recover after the third set disappointment.
“I was into the match from the start, but he is a great champion and stuck with it. I had a little bit of a concentration lapse and I had been talking to my coaches about that and that’s what helped me win in four sets. That’s the best match I have played in some time.”
It isn’t the first time that Tsonga has battled brain cramps. Tennis analyst Chris Jones Tweeted this quote from Tsonga.
“The problem is that sometimes I don’t think enough. I have to use my brain. I know how to use my brain, but sometimes I forget.”
Tsonga’s victory sets up a match against fifth seed Kei Nishikori. As previously reported on The Inquisitr Nishikori is a player on the verge of a breakthrough. He breezed past Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday. When asked about his upcoming match against Tsonga, Nishikori was very complimentary telling The Guardian he will need to be on his toes.
“We haven’t played in a long time, maybe couple of years, but he was injured and now he’s coming back very strong. He has a big serve, big forehand. He’s always dangerous.”
Nishikori has won four of the five matches he has played against Tsonga. The two last played at the ATP World Tour Masters 100 in Paris in 2014 where Nishikori defeated Tsonga 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
Tsonga will try to become the first Frenchman to win it all at Roland Garros since Yannick Noah won in 1983. Jo-Wilfried has never won a Grand Slam title and his best showing at the French Open was a semi-finals appearance in 2013. Two other Frenchman, Richard Gasquet and Jeremy Chardy, also remain alive at Roland Garros.
Do you believe Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has enough to win the French Open or will someone else hoist la Coupe de Mousquetaires?
[Image Source: Clive Brunskill / Getty Images]