Jo-Wilfried Tsonga opened his 2019 campaign on a high note beating Australian hope Thanasi Kokkinakis 76(6), 64 in the Brisbane first round.
Following a dismal 2018 which saw the Frenchman miss seven months after an April surgery on his left knee, Tsonga is thrilled to be back and finally healthy.
“I’m really excited to play this new season, and try to forget the last one,” Tsonga said Monday. “I’m feeling okay. It’s not easy every day when you come back like this, you didn’t play for so long. You need to get the rhythm, and it takes time. I knew it was going to take time.”
Up next for the 33-year-old Tsonga is a date with Rafael Nadal. Nadal leads 8-4 but Tsonga whipped him in their only Australian meeting in the 2008 Melbourne semifinals, and also won their last encounter at 2015 Shanghai.
“He’s a very good player,” Tsonga said of Rafa. “It’s very challenging for me, of course. He’s coming back from injury also, so we are kind of in the same situation. And of course, I wish I could have results like him, especially at Roland Garros.”
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