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Tsonga rallies past Monaco at Monte Carlo

News18test sharma |

Updated: April 12, 2011, 12:05 AM IST
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Tsonga rallies past Monaco at Monte Carlo
There were also wins for Nicolas Almagro, Viktor Troicki and Richard Gasquet.

Monaco: Former Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga rallied to beat Juan Monaco of Argentina 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday.

The 12th-seeded Frenchman is looking for his first title of the year and he meets former world No. 3 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia in the second round.

Tsonga, who is ranked 17th, was happy with the way he managed to vary his game against Monaco.

"I showed a lot of determination, I had a good attitude and I was aggressive," he said. "I chose some tactics at the beginning. I realised they were not working well, so I managed to change my tactics and play more directly.

"I approached the net and tried to mix up my game."

Tsonga recently split with longtime coach Eric Winogradsky, with whom he won five ATP titles and reached the 2008 Australian Open final, rising to No. 6 that year.

"(Roger) Federer, when he stopped having a coach, he still played well," Tsonga said, adding that he has had several coaching offers recently, without revealing any names.

The last of the 25-year-old's five career titles came at the Japan Open in Tokyo, back in October 2009, when he was with Winogradsky. But he feels he can start winning again by himself.

"The important thing is having good results, never mind with whom I'm working or not working," Tsonga said. "If one day I feel lost on the court, which was not the case today, I might think about it (having a coach) again."

There were also wins for ninth-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain, No. 11 Viktor Troicki of Serbia and No. 13 Richard Gasquet of France.

Almagro cruised past countryman Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-3; Troicki beat Jean-Rene Lisnard of Monaco 7-6 (4), 6-1; and Gasquet overcame his early nerves to beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

"I started this match very badly. There was a lot of tension. He was quite confident, very tough to play," said Gasquet, who lost to Rafael Nadal in the 2005 semifinals. "I tried to stay calm but it was very difficult because we played so many rallies. I stayed for three hours on the court."

Elsewhere, Florian Mayer of Germany beat 10th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in an error-strewn match which saw numerous double faults and 13 breaks of serve, with Mayer breaking Youzhny seven times.

Mayer faces Frederico Gil of Portugal in the second round after he beat Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 6-1, 6-3.

Spain's Daniel Gimeno-Traver beat Colombia's Santiago Giraldo 7-6 (4), 7-5 to set up a meeting with No. 8 Gael Monfils of France, while Radek Stepanek advanced to play No. 4 Andy Murray of Britain after beating former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7).

The top-ranked Nadal will open his bid for a seventh straight title on Wednesday against the winner of Monday's later match between Frenchman Julien Benneteau and Finland's Jarkko Nieminen.

First Published: April 12, 2011, 12:05 AM IST
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