Former Word No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is set to make a return to tennis after a long injury-induced hiatus. Tsonga will be playing in the first round of the 2021 Open Sud de France on Monday.
The Frenchman, a former winner at the tournament, has been drawn in the packed bottom half of the draw and will meet youngster Sebastian Korda in a tough opener.
Korda is a former junior Grand Slam winner, having bagged the Australian Open boy’s singles title in 2018. The American made a transition into the senior circuit the same year, and has made steady progress since.
Having achieved a lot of success at the Challenger circuit through most of 2020, Korda had his big breakthrough on the ATP tour at the French Open. The 20-year-old made it to the fourth round of the claycourt Slam, before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.
Korda has showcased great composure in the big matches he has played this year, and already has a finals showing under his belt (Delray Beach). Needless to say, he will be running high on confidence heading into the match against Tsonga.
This will be the first career meeting between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Sebastian Korda, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga hasn’t played a lot of tennis in the couple of years, but he will take a lot of heart from his previous showings on the courts of Montpellier. The indoor conditions offer a boost to the Frenchman’s serve and groundstrokes, which are forceful to begin with.
There’s bound to to be a little rust right off the bat, and that’s where Sebastian Korda will look to pounce. An early break or two could take the youngster a long way in capturing the momentum.
Korda will need to be aggressive throughout the match, and not give his opponent much time on the ball. Moreover, Tsonga will have the support of the home fans and familiarity with the courts; if he manages to find his stride, he might just have too much firepower for the American to handle.
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