Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets

 

Former champion Lleyton Hewitt was unable to roll back the years as he was beaten in straight sets by fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round at Wimbledon.

Hewitt, the 2002 winner, has struggled increasingly with injuries over the past few years but returned to the circuit at the French Open after more than three months off and newly positive following a radical toe operation.

However, the Australian, now ranked 202nd in the world and the recipient of a wild card here, is short of matches having not won since a third-round victory over rising star Milos Raonic at the Australian Open in January.

Tsonga, who beat Roger Federer to reach the semi-finals here last year, was a hugely tough first-round opponent for Hewitt and in the end the 31-year-old was overpowered, losing 6-3 6-4 6-4.

Hewitt had his chances, particularly in the second set, when he brought up three break points in the sixth game only for Tsonga to send down three massive serves.

A poor game from Hewitt at 4-4 then gave Tsonga the crucial advantage, although the Frenchman still needed to recover from 0-40 in the next game to take the set.

The decider was more straightforward, with Tsonga, a potential quarter-final opponent for Rafael Nadal, breaking serve for the only time in the seventh game and then clinching victory when Hewitt netted a backhand.

Hewitt was given a boost after the match with the news he has been handed a wild card for the Olympics, but he revealed this could be his last regular Wimbledon appearance.

"I don't know," he said when asked whether he would be back. "At the moment I've been focusing on getting back this year, doing everything right with my foot and rehab to get back to here.

"So I'm proud of myself of what I've been able to do, all the hard work it's taken to get here. I'd like to be back here, absolutely, but we'll have to wait and see."

The Australian was reasonably happy with his performance today but found Tsonga just too tough, especially on serve.

"I didn't do a lot wrong really," said Hewitt. "Considering where I've come from, it's probably as good as I could have done today really. I felt the sharpest I've felt, but he served too well."

Tsonga hurt his finger during his defeat by Ivan Dodig at Queen's Club two weeks ago so was relieved to come through against such an experienced opponent.

He said: "I was a bit scared before this match because I didn't know how my finger would feel. But it was okay. It didn't hurt me too much. I played good tennis.

"It's never easy to play against a guy like Hewitt because when you go on court you know this guy played unbelievable matches here and is maybe able to play the same tennis.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Accounts Executive

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Administrator / Secretary - South East

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time Administrator/Secreta...

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor