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Tsonga vs Medvedev ATP Brisbane Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Tsonga seeks first final in 14 months

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 4 Jan 2019
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Daniil Medvedev is live from Brisbane on Saturday, 5 January from 8:30pm local time/ 10:30am GMT
  • Tsonga leads 1-0 on head-to-head
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga seeks his first ATP World Tour final in 14 months when he takes on Russia's Daniil Medvedev at the Brisbane International on Saturday.

A former Australian Open finalist and former world No. 5, Tsonga is currently ranked 239th in the world after missing most of 2018 due to a knee injury.

The Frenchman played just six ATP World Tour tournaments last year, missing seven months between February and September due to his knee problem, which required surgery in April.

Tsonga returned to the tour at the Moselle Open in Metz in September, where he lost to Peter Gojowczyk in his comeback match, but he was back to winning ways in his next tournament, beating Guido Pella in the first round in Antwerp. That was as good as it got though, as he lost his next four matches to finish 2018 with a 5-7 record.

Tsonga has already won over half the number of matches he won in 2018 in just the opening week of 2019, beating Thanasi Kokkinakis, Taro Daniel and Alex De Minaur in Brisbane to reach his first semifinal since Montpellier last year. The Frenchman enjoyed a little bit of luck with the draw as he was originally drawn to face Rafael Nadal in the second round, but the French Open champion withdrew from the tournament, meaning Tsonga instead had to play lucky loser, Daniel.

Tsonga saw off Daniel 7-6 6-3, setting up a quarter final date with seventh seed and 2018 semifinalist, Alex De Minaur.

Backed by an expectant home crowd, De Minaur showed his trademark doggedness and athleticism, but Tsonga's power shone through in the end, with the 33-year-old blasting 41 winners and 28 unforced errors. Both men exchanged breaks early in the match, but Tsonga struck again in the ninth game with a second break before serving out the first set to love.

Neither man could force a break of serve in the second set, but Tsonga stepped up the aggression in the tie break, climbing all over De Minaur with his forehand and his forecourt play. De Minaur actually got the first mini-break of the tie break to lead 2-1, but that was the cue for Tsonga to go on the attack, and he did with aplomb, winning six points in a row from to complete a very impressive win.

“I played a great match,” said Tsonga. “I expected something like this before the match because I saw him play a few times. He’s a very good player. We have completely different games [and] it was good tennis. I’m just really happy with the way I played and I hope I will do better in the next round again”.

After passing the De Minaur challenge, Tsonga faces completely different type of opponent in the semis on Saturday, as he takes on the hard-hitting Daniil Medvedev, who also happens to be in terrific form this week.

Medvedev has made a superb start to the year, taking out former Brisbane champions, Andy Murray and Milos Raonic to reach the semi-finals, and his confidence must be sky-high as he heads into the weekend chasing his fourth career title.

Daniil Medvedev. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
All of his previous three previous titles came in 2018- including one in Sydney, Australia, while he was also victorious in Winston-Salem and Tokyo, breaking into the top 20 for the first time in his career. 

After powering to a 7-5 6-2 over Murray in a tricky opener, Medvedev backed it up with a hard-fought 6-7 6-3 6-4 victory over Raonic. The big difference on the day was break point conversion rate, with Medvedev showing commendable grit in fighting off all eight break points he faced, and converting two of the four opportunities he carved out on the Canadian's big serve.

“I like the way I played these two matches against great players. I mean top players, champions of our sport", Medvedev said… "To see that what I have been working on in the off-season works here in Brisbane is already is a good sign.”

The Russian saved three set points on his serve at 4-5 in the first set, but he was second best in the tie break, as Raonic eased through 7-2. 

Medvedev scored a huge break in Raonic's opening serving game of the second set, but he had to dig very deep to hang on to that advantage with Raonic pressing hard for parity. The Russian fought back from 15-40 in successive service games at 4-2 and 5-3 before escaping with the set on his first set point. 

The final set seemed destined for a tie break with first eight games going with serve, but the serving procession was bucked in dramatic fashion. Raonic appeared to be cruising to another hold at 4-4 40-0, but in a bizarre turn of events, Medvedev reeled off five points in a row to snatch the break, prompting an angry reaction from the stunned Raonic. Medvedev went on to close out the match without any problems, moving on to a semi-final meeting with Tsonga.

Tsonga was a comfortable 6-2 7-5 victor in their only previous meeting in Montpellier in 2017, but a lot has obviously changed since then, with Medvedev rising into the top 20, and Tsonga dropping out of the top 200 due to his injury problems.

Will it be Medvedev to advance to a fifth career final, or will Tsonga return to an ATP World Tour title match for the first time since October 2017?

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Daniil Medvedev is live from Brisbane on Saturday, 5 January from 8:30pm local time/ 10:30am GMT

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Tsonga vs Medvedev ATP Brisbane Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Tsonga seeks first final in 14 months

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga battles Daniil Medvedev for a spot in the Brisbane final on Saturday. Can Tsonga reach his first final since October 2017? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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