x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

French Open: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga thrives on the pressure as he and Roger Federer advance

Round-up: David Ferrer through at expense of Spanish compatriot Albert Montanes, while Milos Raonic hit 24 aces and defeated the Frenchman Michael Llodra.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France celebrates set point against Jarkko Nieminen of Finland. Getty Images
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France celebrates set point against Jarkko Nieminen of Finland. Getty Images

David Ferrer and the home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were both straight-sets winners as they advanced to the third round of the French Open.

Also, Roger Federer was in no mood to hang around as the No 2 seed also moved into the third round with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 rout of India's Somdev Devvarman.

Federer, chasing a second French Open title, was never put under pressure and ruthlessly exploited his opponent's frailties. The Swiss did not lose a point against the 188th-ranked qualifier until the third game and took the first set in just 23 minutes with two breaks of serve.

Ferrer, elevated to the No 4 seed by Andy Murray's withdrawal, does not have anything like the same profile as those above him and found himself out on Court 2 for his match against fellow Spaniard Albert Montanes. Montanes won his first title for almost three years in Nice last week but proved no obstacle to Ferrer's hopes of reaching a first grand slam final, the 31-year-old Spaniard winning 6-2, 6-1, 6-3. Ferrer next meets another Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez.

Tsonga held two match points against Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals last year before going on to lose in five sets. He is the host nation's main hope 30 years after Yannick Noah won the title.

He had a tougher time against Jarkko Nieminen but came through 7-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Tsonga feels the attention but is not daunted by it.

"I'm French, it's in France and of course there may be a bit more pressure, but for me it's positive. … If I go far in this tournament or if I win, it's going to be something huge."

Milos Raonic hit 24 aces and defeated the Frenchman Michael Llodra 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 6-2.

The 22-year-old Raonic, a Canadian seeded 14th, earned his 100th tour victory and matched his best result at Roland Garros by reaching the third round.

The No 8 seed Janko Tipsarevic and the 10th seed Marin Cilic were also among the second-round winners.

* Agencies

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