Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Rallying Tsonga outlasts Shapovalov in five-set epic

Rallying Tsonga outlasts Shapovalov in five-set epic

"I find it as an opportunity to learn", he said.

"She's a tricky opponent, she had nothing to lose, and I think she realised she was at 5-1 and she let off the speed a little bit".

"It was a great get", Shapovalov said. "Then things were going my way and I thought ' this is my chance'".

Shapovalov, now ranked No. 50, will face 15th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round.

The third set was all Shapovalov with him jumping out to a 3-0 set advantage before cruising to the set victory. "Going up in the world", Laver tweeted.

"Experience was crucial today", said Wozniacki, who is on her 11th visit to Melbourne Park as she continues her quest for a maiden grand slam title. "But definitely I felt from the beginning maybe I'd be more comfortable and that's what happened".

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga required all his years of experience to tame Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov and reach the third round.

Tsonga eventually triumphed 3-6 6-3 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 win in a match lasting three hours, 37 minutes on Margaret Court Arena and was to face either Australian 17th seed Nick Kyrgios or Serbia's Viktor Troicki in the third round, who played last night.

"I think I played extremely well today", Shapovalov said in his post-match press conference.

"It's not easy against these young guns, they go for everything, but I just continued to fight".

Shapovalov beat the 32-year-old Tsonga in their only career matchup at the U.S. Open last summer.

Istomin shocked six-time champion Novak Djokovic in the second round of last year's Australian Open.

It was tight in the fourth as Tsonga's physical presence kept him ahead on serve and he piled on the pressure with some superb forceful tennis to claim the tiebreaker 7-4.

After overcoming the disappointment of the breaker, Shapovalov broke at the start of the decider to snatch the initiative. But serving at 5-3, Shapovalov landed only one first serve, and Tsonga pounced on Shapovalov's second offerings, breaking to 15.

Two errors from his favourite backhand and a double-fault opened the door for Tsonga to break back and the Frenchman then swept through the final three games, sealing the 16th five-set victory of his career with a textbook serve and volley victor. "I'm the type of guy when things don't go my way, instead of sulking or getting mad, I go back on the court and try to work twice as hard, so next time when I'm in that position I can hit some good serves, just close the match out".

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