Tennis-Tsonga unfazed after marathon Paris opener

Sun, 23 May 20:06:00 2010

* Tsonga needs almost four hours to beat unheralded German

* Frenchman not worried by slow start

Local favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga laboured past unheralded German Daniel Brands to reach the second round of the French Open with a marathon 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-7 7-5 win on Sunday.

Timely drop shots were enough for Brands to unsettle Tsonga early in the match as the eighth-seeded Frenchman dropped the first set before gradually finding his stride to set up a second-round meeting with compatriot Josselin Ouanna.

It was no stroll in the park for Tsonga with Brands benefiting from a string of unforced errors to level by taking the fourth set tiebreak 7-2.

The German saved a match point in the 10th game of the decider, another in the 12th before bowing out when he sent a backhand long after a three-hour and 43-minute battle.

Tsonga, however, was unfazed by his slow start.

"I am not worried. I played for a long time but I still have two days to recuperate," he told reporters.

"The fact I stayed long on the court could be a good thing because I hit many balls and helped me find some grounds (for the rest of the tournament)."

(Editing by Miles Evans; To query or comment on this story email


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