Brisbane International: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats Alex de Minaur to set up semi-final clash against Daniil Medvedev
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who missed seven months of 2018 after knee surgery, looked like he'd never been away during his 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) win over the rising Australian star.
Brisbane: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's comeback from injury gathered pace when he overcame seventh-seeded Australian Alex de Minaur in a high-quality Brisbane International quarter-final on Friday.
The former world number four, who missed seven months of 2018 after knee surgery, looked like he'd never been away during his 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) win over the rising Australian star.
The Frenchman was in superb touch against an opponent who fought hard but was unable to make any inroads into Tsonga's game.
The aggressive Tsonga had too much firepower for the counter-punching style of de Minaur.
"I expected something like this before the match — I'd seen him play a couple of times and I knew it would be tough," Tsonga said.
"We have completely different games. It was good tennis and I'm just really happy with the way I played," he added.
Tsonga said he knew he had to attack during the tiebreak.
"I was a bit more aggressive than him and it made the difference," he said.
Tsonga will play fourth-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev for a place in Sunday's final.
Medvedev withstood the huge serving of Canadian Milos Raonic to win a brutal match 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-4.
The 22-year-old Russian saved eight break points throughout the match and broke Raonic twice to move into the final four.
Raonic has one of the biggest serves in the game and fired down 29 aces in the quarter-final. After winning the first set in a tiebreak the Canadian looked in control.
But he played two loose service games in the second and third sets and Medvedev, who saved eight break points on his own serve throughout the match, took full advantage.
"The way he's serving, I'm just going to try to be present and if he have my chances, I needed to take it," Medvedev said.
"I took two out of four (break point chances), which is a good result. And despite many chances that he had, I managed to hold my serves," said Medvedev.
Medvedev, the world number 16, said the tactic when playing a big server like Raonic was to pay attention to his own serve first.
"The key is just to think about my serve first, to try to win my serve, and then if I have the chance on his serve, then I will try to get it," he said.
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