LONDON (Reuters) - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga just cannot keep off the grass at Wimbledon this year, having played on all four days of the championships so far during a torturous route to the third round.
The popular Frenchman, twice a semi-finalist at the All England Club, needed two days and five sets to beat Austrian Jurgen Melzer in round one and came through another two-part thriller against American Sam Querrey on Thursday.
There will be no rest for the 14th seed on Friday either because he will be required to sign in for action against Taiwan’s Jimmy Wang, the world No.147.
“Of course it’s not like I played only three sets,” said Tsonga, who was tied at 9-9 in the fifth set against Querrey when darkness fell on Wednesday, returning on Thursday to complete a 4-6 7-6(2) 6-7(4) 6-3 14-12 victory.
“But, you know, I‘m feeling okay. I‘m ready for that, ready to fight. I hope tomorrow is going to be a good day for me again.”
Tsonga has proved himself something of a five-set warrior at Wimbledon down the years, memorably coming back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in 2011.
“I like the fight,” said Tsonga, who treated fans to a dance routine after his victory.
”Since I was a kid, I‘m fighting ... Today I‘m really happy because I‘m here and I‘m still winning in five sets.
“It means that I‘m physically strong, mentally focused on what I‘m doing.”
Editing by David Goodman