France's Tsonga draws first blood against USA
Date published :
06 Apr 2012 - 15:47:01
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga drew first blood for hosts France on Friday as the world number six defeated Ryan Harrison of the United States in their Davis Cup World Group quarter-final 7-5, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 at Monte Carlo.
Gilles Simon was out to extend the French advantage with an afternoon win over John Isner after Tsonga overcame a rival ranked 60 places behind him despite some nervous moments and 53 unforced errors.
Tsonga said coming to European red clay after US hardcouts was a tough transition and admitted he had struggled to begin with.
"We have just come from Miami and it's a change from hardcourt. It takes time to adapt. But I got through it ok," said 2008 Australian Open finalist Tsonga.
"Now I hope Gilou (Simon) will pull out something big for us."
Harrison, a 19-year-old from Shreveport, Louisiana, showed his inexperience, but an early break bolstered his confidence and he forced Tsonga to dig deep to get his nose in front with a noisy home crowd playing their part.
In the second set Harrison slammed his racket angrily after a double fault moved him 1-2 down hot on the heels of two missed chances to break his rival's serve in the previous game.
Although he rallied to win the third set that was only brief respite and Tsonga cruised through the fourth to lift his Davis Cup tally to eight wins in nine appearances.