Monday, April 11, 2011
Tsonga through in Monte, prefers being coachless for now
Talented Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga opened his clay campaign at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters with a tough three-set win over Juan Monaco.
The 12th seed needed some time to find his game before he took his stride and recovered from a set down to beat the Argentine 4/6, 6/3, 6/2 to set up a second round clash with Ivan Ljubicic.
Tsonga recently split with his coach Eric Winogradsky, who has been coaching the 25-year-old since 2004. The former Australian Open runner-up was thrilled with his victory over Monaco and said he will remain coachless for now.
"For the moment I just want to find my game. Play like I want to play. Not to be influenced by somebody else. I will see, if I am not playing well then I will search for someone to help me. For now, I have my friends in the crowd supporting me," Tsonga told Sky Sports after his win.
Earlier matches on Monday saw another Frenchman tested, 13th seeded Richard Gasquet, who went the distance against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan to eventually prevail 5/7, 6/3, 6/4.
"I came to the court lacking some rhythm and playing my first match on clay, and he was making very few mistakes," said Gasquet. "But I was able to play solid, hang in there. But it was tough. I'm happy I pulled out that match today and I can play a second match here. I would have been disappointed if I had lost, because this is a beautiful tournament, there are many people watching."
Spaniards Nicolas Almagro, Tommy Robredo and Daniel Gimeno-Traver all made it through to the 2nd round while Marcos Baghdatis and Nikolay Davydenko highlighted the main upsets of the day falling to Radek Stepanek and Robin Haase respectively.
The order of play isn't out yet, but Roger Federer is expected to play on Tuesday against Philipp Kohlschreiber.