Monday 23 October 2017

French Open: Tsonga recovers to keep Paris crowd smiling

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made the Paris spectators happy when he recovered from a first-set loss to move into the second round of the French Open yesterday.

Minutes later, Nicolas Mahut doubled the home fans' delight when he joined his fellow Frenchman in the next round after a four-set defeat of American Andy Roddick.

World No 5 Tsonga, the highest seed in action on the opening day, beat Russian qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov 1-6 6-3 6-2 6-4, waking up after a slow start on the Philippe Chatrier court to earn a standing ovation at the end.

Mahut, who has lost eight times in the Roland Garros first round, looked vulnerable again when, having strapped up his left knee, he dropped the third set, but he came back to take the match 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-2.

Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro also overcame a knee injury in beating Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-2 6-7 6-2 6-1.

The ninth-seeded Del Potro, who won the Estoril Open on clay three weeks ago, said problems with his knee had started after his semi-final defeat at the Madrid Open two weeks ago.

"I'm still working with the physio every day, trying to recover," the 2009 US Open winner said.

"I'm glad to go through -- I will have two days to work with the physio on my knee. So I have time to recover."

Former champion Juan Carlos Ferrero knocked out battling local player, and Roland Garros debutant, Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy 6-1 6-4 6-3.

Ferrero will now play Marin Cilic after the Croatian defeated Spain's Daniel Munoz 6-4 6-4 7-5.

Irish Independent

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