Tsonga, Hewitt march on
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame 'terrible conditions' to book his place in the quarter-finals of the Japan Open.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 08/10/09 1:32pm
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame 'terrible conditions' to book his place in the quarter-finals of the Japan Open with victory over Richard Gasquet.
The number two seed kept his composure amid typhoon winds in Tokyo to edge past the Frenchman 4-6 6-2 6-2.
The conditions were so extreme that at one stage of the match advertising boards could be seen blowing across the court.
Speaking after the victory, Tsonga said: "The conditions were terrible.
"It was dangerous. I saw the (advertising) board start to move and thought 'Woah!' You never know what can happen."
Tsonga, ranked seven in the world and hoping for a run which will cement his place in the World Tour Finals in London next month, fought back well after a below-par opening set.
Two missed volleys proved decisive, Gasquet capitalising to snatch a set-clinching break.
With the roof finally opened after three days of torrential rain, Tsonga roared back to level the match with some punishing baseline hitting in the second set.
The Frenchman claimed two further breaks in the deciding set, eventually prevailing in in one hour and 40 minutes to book a quarter-final date with Ernests Gulbis.
Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt also advanced to the quarters, the eighth seed battling past Fabrice Santoro 3-6 6-3 6-1 to end the Frenchman's first and last Tokyo visit.
The Australian plays another Frenchman in the last eight after Edouard Roger-Vasselin followed up his first round victory over top seed Juan Martin Del Potro with a 4-6 6-2 6-3 triumph over Jurgen Melzer.
The shock of the day came when third seed Gilles Simon perished at the hands of Russian Mikhail Youzhny 7-6 6-7 6-4.
Fifth seed Tomas Berdych also progressed, the Czech player dispatching Germany's Andreas Beck 6-4 6-1.