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Tsonga vs Sonego tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Tsonga up against Italian qualifier for semifinal spot in Marrakech

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 11 Apr 2019
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga faces qualifier Lorenzo Sonego in the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix Hassan II
  • Tsonga vs Sonego is live from Marrakech on Friday at 4.30pm local/3.30pm BST
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (PA Sport)

After getting his best win for well over a year against Kyle Edmund, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga hopes to keep it going in Marrakech as he faces Lorenzo Sonego for a place in the semifinals.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga targets his third semifinal of 2019 as he takes on qualifier Lorenzo Sonego in the Grand Prix Hassan II quarterfinals on Friday.

The 33-year-old Frenchman is playing Marrakech for the first time, having asked for and received a wildcard from the organizers of the 250-level event, which isn’t necessarily usually graced by players with the star power of Tsonga or world no. 3 Alexander Zverev, who has also got a wildcard and could meet Tsonga in the semifinals if both get that far.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Currently ranked world no. 116 after playing just 12 matches in 2018 due to injury, as a consequence of which his ranking plummeted outside the top 200, Tsonga opted not to make the trip to the USA to play the Indian Wells and Miami Masters and is consequently competing for the first time since Marseille in February. It’s been a really good start to the season for the Frenchman considering how little he played in 2018: A semifinalist at the Brisbane International in January, Tsonga was unfortunate to run into Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Australian Open but put together a seven-match winning streak on European indoor hard courts in February, winning his 17th career title in Montpellier and making the quarterfinals in Rotterdam.

Tsonga has yet to drop a set in Marrakech, opening with a 6-1, 7-6(3) victory over Cedric-Marcel Stebe before facing a much tougher challenge against third seed and 2018 runner-up Kyle Edmund on Wednesday. Tsonga was the player under more pressure on serve in the early games, and faced a break point at 2-2 in the first set, but staved it off in a bruising forehand-to-forehand exchange and aced his way out of trouble to hold for 3-2. It was the only break point of the set as Tsonga started holding more and more solidly, and the set went to a tie-break which began with an exchange of mini-breaks before Tsonga took the lead, earning a set point on his own serve only to double-fault, much to his tangible disgust.

Nevertheless, Tsonga pressured a forehand error out of Edmund to take the set 7-6(6) and it was the British player who found himself under the cosh on serve in the second set, having to save two break points at 1-1 before surrendering the break in his next service game. Tsonga broke once more to take the match 7-6(6), 6-3 – his first win over a top-25 player since beating Zverev in Vienna in October 2017, snapping a 9-match losing streak against opponents ranked inside the top 25. 

‘It's always great to beat a top-20 [sic] player and very motivating. I will have a day off tomorrow and hope to continue playing well,’ Tsonga said.

Trying to make his third semifinal of 2019 after making the final four in Brisbane and winning the title in Montpellier, Tsonga faces another player ranked higher than him, albeit only by 13 spots, in the Marrakech quarterfinals.

Lorenzo Sonego (PA Images)
Qualifier Lorenzo Sonego is, at 23, on the brink of breaking back into the top 100 after having been ranked as high as world no. 86 last autumn. Sonego started 2018 at world no. 219 after a good 2017 season in Challengers and Futures, and went on to win the Genova Challenger and make semifinals in Bergamo and Florence in 2018; he also got his first ATP Tour-level wins of note, making the second round of the Australian Open with a win over Robin Haase, beating Gilles Muller in five in the first round of the US Open and reaching the quarterfinals of Budapest as a qualifier after victories over Hubert Hurkacz and Richard Gasquet.

Up to world no. 107 to start 2019, Sonego’s aim has clearly been to transition from playing the Challenger Tour to the ATP Tour, and he’s doing well so far: He’s played three Challengers, making quarterfinals in Playford and Phoenix, but has also played five ATP Tour events, making the second rounds of Cordoba, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo on clay and the Miami Masters on hard courts. He has yet to drop a set in four matches in Marrakech, beating Alexey Vatutin and Carlos Berlocq in qualifying before upsetting fifth seed Laslo Djere 6-3, 6-3 and going on to beat Haase 7-6(5), 6-3.

Sonego has won seven of the 11 matches he’s played against top-100 players in 2019, and Tsonga isn’t even currently ranked inside the top 100 – but then we all know he’s also no ordinary world no. 116. Tsonga is still searching for his best tennis, prone to slow starts and second-set letdowns, but I haven’t seen anything from Sonego so far which suggests to me that he’s really got the power to punish Tsonga for any potential lapses, and this is a great opportunity for the rebuilding Frenchman to make his third semifinal of 2019 in Marrakech. 

Tsonga vs Sonego Grand Prix Hassan II tennis is live from Marrakech on Friday at 4.30pm local/3.30pm BST

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Tsonga vs Sonego tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Tsonga up against Italian qualifier for semifinal spot in Marrakech

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Lorenzo Sonego live streaming, preview and predictions for the ATP Marrakech quarterfinal match on Friday 12 April: Tsonga targets third semifinal of 2019 at the Grand Prix Hassan II as he continues to rebuild after 2018 injuries

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