Tsonga stamps his comeback authority on Niemimen

January 7th, 2009 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Brisbane, Jan 7 (DPA) Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga recovered from a horror start to impose his game on fighting Finn Jarkko Nieminen for a 0-6, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-5) win into the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International Wednesday. The Frenchman looked like becoming an upset statistic like top seed Novak Djokovic the day before. But he took the contest in hand against 41st-ranked Niemimen, who won their only other encounter a year ago when the event was played in Adelaide.

Tsonga was joined as a winner by third-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, who beat Croatian Mario Ancic 6-2, 6-3 in plenty of time to front up in the stands for the match of his girlfriend, top-seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic.

French players continued their charge through the field, with Paul-Henri Mathieu ousting Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-4 a day after the Latvian shocked Djokovic in the first round. Florent Serra of France stopped Austrian Jurgen Melzer 6-4, 6-3.

In women’s play, it was a narrow escape as France’s Julie Coin almost cashed in against former Australian Open winner Amelie Mauresmo.

The fifth seed had to save four match points in a massive third-set effort to go through after trailing 5-2 in the final set.

Mauresmo finally prevailed in a narrow escape 5-7 6-2 7-6 (13-11) taking more than three hours to stop Coin, who also lost to Mauresmo in the US Open third round.

Mauresmo’s win was the longest of her WTA career. “I don’t know what to say, I’m just glad that I won,” said the 29-year-old. “It would have been a missed occasion.”

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