Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has already managed to better his achievements from 2014 after reaching the quarter-final draw of the French Open 2015. Tsonga beat Tomas Berdych, who is the fourth seed at the Roland Garros, 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 to reach the quarters. The Frenchman was knocked out in the fourth round of all four Grand Slams in 2014. Hence, reaching the quarter-finals of the French Open will especially be pleasing for the 30-year-old, who will meet Kei Nishikori in the next round. This gives something to cheer for the French fans, but Betfair continues to place Novak Djokovic as the favourite in the French Open 2015 title odds at 4/5.
From the word go, Tsonga appeared determined to end the disappointments of the past. He managed comfortable victories in the first two sets before being pegged back by Berdych, who appeared to take advantage of the tiredness setting in upon Tsonga. The fourth set also started in favour of Berdych before the Frenchman came back into the match by winning five games on the bounce.
Even though he has not won a Grand Slam in his career, Tsonga appears to hold the love of the supporters at Roland Garros, who cheered him for the entirety of the match against Berdych. His first task will be to match his achievement of 2013 when he reached the French Open semifinals. This remains his best performance at Roland Garros to date. Even though he is once again set to remain as the crowd favourite in the quarter-finals, the 30-year-old has to come up with a big performance in order to retain the support.
French Open 2015 has become the first tournament since the 1968 edition to feature five French nationals in the last 16 stage of the competition. One of the Frenchmen, Gilles Simon, has been knocked out after a meeting with eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka. History is also created from an Asian perspective, as Tsonga’s opponents in the quarter-finals, Nishikori, becomes the first Japanese to reach this stage of the French Open in 82 years. He comes in competition with Tsonga after beating Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday.
Managing to overcome Nishikori will be a major challenge for Tsonga, as the Japanese has played only nine sets in the tournament. Benjamin Becker gave him a walkover victory in the third round. Freshness appeared to be a key part in his comfortable victory over Gabashvili. Further, the Japanese also holds the edge with regard to head-to-head records. Nishikori has come up against Tsonga five times in his career and has won four matches. This incredible record is likely to play on the minds of both players when they meet in the quarter-final stage.
Number one seed Novak Djokovic remains a major favourite for the title since he will come up against another Frenchman Gasquet, who is only the 20th seed in the tournament. He will have to overcome perennial French Open contender Rafael Nadal, who had an easy passage into the Round four after a 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 win over the unseeded Andrey Kuznetsov. Compared to the ease of victory for Nadal, Djokovic was tested a bit more by Kokkinakis in the third round. The match finished as a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win for the Serbian.
Djokovic has failed to take the ultimate prize despite reaching the final on two occasions. This has largely been because of the never-ending domination of Nadal, who has taken every title at the French Open apart from 2009 when Roger Federer was successful. Over the years, there have been numerous challengers to Nadal’s superiority on clay courts. Robin Söderling, Roger Federer, David Ferrer have all tried and failed to beat the Spaniard, but Djokovic will be hoping to get third time lucky in this year’s edition.
The two favourites, though, will also have to watch out for Andy Murray. The Brit is the third seed at the tournament and he went past Kyrgios in the third round after a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 victory. Betfair places Murray just behind Djokovic and Nadal – at odds of 7/1 – to win the French Open for the first time in his career.
Unfortunately, everything tennis wise is cancelled to at least 13th of July. Let's hope this corona virus goes away as soon as possible and this is the last date the tour is pushed back to. Stay safe people!
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