Monday, June 27, 2011
Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continues his exuberant celebration, and as well he should after winning on Day 7 of the 2001 Wimbledon Championships.
|Spaniard David Ferrer|
Tsonga made headlines recently when he posed nude in a bid to raise awareness about cancer but on court all eyes were fixed on his sparkling play that left Ferrer seeking solutions but unable to find them.
While Ferrer had comfortably beaten Tsonga on their only previous meeting on the clay of Rome last year, it was the Frenchman who began the duel in top gear. Blistering backhands and ferocious forehands were the bread and butter of his game, along with scintillating serves that regularly clocked the 135mph mark. Then there were the lucrative forays to the net. This was Tsonga at his very best and the man, quite simply, could not put a foot wrong.
Not that Ferrer wasn't trying. In the beginning, he was matching the 26-year-old shot for shot until the fifth game of the opening set when he missed a backhand to give Tsonga the break. Just when you thought it impossible for Tsonga to hit the ball any harder, he did, coming up trumps with another winner.
The Spaniard was soon serving to stay in the set but a number of errors, including a double fault on the opening point, handed the Frenchman three set points. He only needed the one and closed out the set on a winning volley.
Tsonga's dazzling form continued in the second set and Ferrer began to crumble. The Frenchman broke and when the Spaniard netted a ball on the second set point there was a sense this was the beginning of the end for Ferrer. But the 29-year-old refused to bow out easily and upped the ante in the third.
By the sixth game, the rallies were hitting the 15-shot mark, much to the delight of the No.3 Court spectators and the set was forced to a tie-break. It was the Frenchman who reigned supreme when he raced to a 6-1 lead and converted the first match point with a breathtaking cross-court winner.
Tsonga may have won five hard court titles in his career but in this tournament he is demonstrating he is a strong contender on the SW19 lawns. He just has the small matter of six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer to negotiate in the quarter finals...
Photos by Getty Images