Jo-Wilfried Tsonga limps into the third round

Last updated 06:45 27/06/2014
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
DOING IT TOUGH: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has advanced to the third round at Wimbledon after two marathon matches.

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga just cannot keep off the grass at Wimbledon this year, having played on all four days of the championships so far during a torturous route to the third round.

The popular Frenchman, twice a semi-finalist at the All England Club, needed two days and five sets to beat Austrian Jurgen Melzer in round one and came through another two-part thriller against American Sam Querrey on Friday morning (NZT).

There will be no rest for the 14th seed tomorrow either because he will be required to sign in for action against Taiwan's Jimmy Wang, the world No.147.

''Of course it's not like I played only three sets,'' said Tsonga, who was tied at 9-9 in the fifth set against Querrey when darkness fell on Thursday, returning on Friday to complete a 4-6 7-6(2) 6-7(4) 6-3 14-12 victory.

''But, you know, I'm feeling okay. I'm ready for that, ready to fight. I hope tomorrow is going to be a good day for me again.''

Tsonga has proved himself something of a five-set warrior at Wimbledon down the years, memorably coming back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in 2011.

''I like the fight,'' said Tsonga, who treated fans to a dance routine after his victory.

''Since I was a kid, I'm fighting ... Today I'm really happy because I'm here and I'm still winning in five sets.''It means that I'm physically strong, mentally focused on what I'm doing.''

Meanwhile, John Isner won a 19-17 tiebreaker in the opening set and never faced a break point this morning en route to beating 62nd-ranked Jarkko Nieminen of Finland to reach Wimbledon's third round for the first time.

Only one men's singles tiebreaker in Wimbledon history had more points than the 36 played by Isner and Nieminen: Bjorn Borg won a 20-18 tiebreaker in 1973.

The ninth-seeded Isner - the last American man in the tournament - hit 32 aces and won 7-6 (17), 7-6 (3), 7-5.  

The lone service break came when Isner hit a volley winner to go ahead 6-5 in the third set.

Isner is best known for winning the longest match in tennis history, an 11-hour, 5-minute victory that ended 70-68 in the fifth set at Wimbledon in 2010.

Reuters, AP

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