The smile of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga could hardly be greater when he left bthe center court of Rotterdam Ahoy. The Frenchman, winner of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in 2017, had just gotten rid of the Dutch stuntman Tallon Griekspoor: 7-6 (5), 6-1.
"I played well and reached a constant level," said the 33-year-old Tsonga. "In the first set I made the big points and after the early break in the second set I have made almost no mistakes."
Audience favorite Tsonga was sidelined for seven months last year with knee problems. "Injuries are part of the life of a tennis pro. It is not easy to come back again, but it's going in the right direction. I love to be a player again."
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays in the quarter-finals on Friday-afternoon against the fifth Daniil Medvedev. Both players won an ATP tournament last Sunday. "That will be a tough game," thinks Tsonga, who in 2012 was the number five of the world rankings. "Medvedev is a player who has developed enormously in recent months."
For Tallon Griekspoor, the stakes were high after having defeated the world's number eleven Karen Khachanov on Tuesday-evening. "At the beginning of the tiebreak the game slipped from my hands and after that it went too fast in the second set. That should have been better. You notice Tsonga's skills in the important moments, that's when time he hit a good first service every single time."
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