Sunday 6 January 2013

Jo Wilfried Tsonga and Australian Open 2013

Jo Wilfried Tsonga is one of the three players who have made it to the final of grand slam during this era of the BIG 4. The other two being Tomas Berdych, and Robin Soderling. For Tsonga the final appearance came right here in Australia, back in 2008, when he defeated Nadal in the semi-finals to reach his first and to-date only grand slam final. He lost at the hands of Novak Djokovic in 4 sets.
Tsonga participated in the Hopman cup, but had to withdraw owing to left hamstring injury. He also withdrew from Sydney owing to that injury in order to rest and be fit for the upcoming Australian Open.
Tsonga is likely to be the 7th seed for the Australian Open. Let us see what the probability of Tsonga is, of making a deep run at the Australian Open.

Jo Wilfried Tsonga and Australian Open – Based on the past results of 7th seeds

To Tsonga’s dismay, a 7th seed has never been to the Australian Open final. The best showing by a 7th seed has been a semi-final showing at Australian Open. It has happened thrice during the past 25 years, since 1988 when Australian Open changed surface from grass to hard courts.
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There is one interesting thing to note however, that during the past 4 years a 7th seed has never lost before the quarter-final and only once during the past 7 years. Tsonga has a good 44% chance of making it out of the 4th round and into the quarter-finals.
Tsonga fans must be happy to know that a 7th seed has not lost in the opening round round since 1994 when Cedric Pioline lost in the first round at the hands of Martin Damm.

Jo Wilfried Tsonga and Australian Open – Based on the Tsonga’s past performances at Australian Open

Tsonga is 20-6 life-time in Australian Open. Tsonga has lost in the first round of Australian Open only once, which was on his debut in Australian Open back in 2007, when he lost to the then world no. 7 and now retired Andy Roddick in 4 sets. The final score being  7-6(18), 6-7(2), 2-6, 3-6.
Since then, Tsonga has made it to the 3rd round at least. Last two years have been tough for Tsonga at the Australian Open, as he went down in hard fought 5 sets. He lost to Alexandr Dolgopolov in 2011 in the 3rd round (6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 1-6, 1-6) and to Kei Nishikori in the 4th round in 2012 (6-2, 2-6, 1-6, 6-3, 3-6).
Tsonga has been to the quarter-final or better of the Australian Open on 3 of his 6 visits to the Melbourne courts. He went on to reach the final of the Australian Open in 2008, when he upset the then world no.9 Andy Murray in the first round, then world no.8 Richard Gasquet in the 4th round, then world no.14 Mikhail Youzhny in the quarter-finals and then world no.2 Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. However, he fell short at the last hurdle at the hands of Novak Djokovic, the then world no.3.
Tsonga made the quarter-finals the next year in 2009. He lost to Fernando Verdasco (6-7(2), 6-3, 3-6, 2-6).
In 2010 Tsonga went on to reach the semi-finals, losing to the eventual champion Roger Federer in straight sets, 2-6, 3-6, 2-6. En-route to semi-finals he avenged his 2008 loss at the hands of Djokovic when he defeated the Serbian in 5 sets in the quareter-final, 7-6(8), 6-7(5), 1-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Tsonga has the game, the fire-power and the fighting spirit needed to win a grand slam. However, what will determine his destiny is that whether he can take the extra step and play the important points like a champion or not.

Tsonga loves the Australian Open courts, they tend to bring out the best in him. However, with injury concern this year and with lack of match practice, how far will Tsonga go? Will he go on to reach the quarter-finals or better or lose before the quarter-finals? Let us wait and watch, how deep Tsonga can go.

You can find the probability of the other players via following links.
Sara Errani and Australian Open 2013
Janko Tipsarevic and Australian Open 2013
Petra Kvitova and Australian Open 2013

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