Buoyant Tsonga muscles his way past Almagro

Monte Carlo: A fired up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did not let an animated verbal exchange with the umpire get in the way of a rousing 7-6, 7-5 win over Nicolas Almagro in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters.

With the May 23-June 6 French Open looming, the local favourite was his usual buoyant self for more than two hours as he overcame a misfiring first serve to knock out Almagro.

Tsonga, an Australian Open finalist in 2008, gave a thrilled crowd the thumbs up as he twirled around the court after shaking his opponent`s hand.

"With all these Spaniards in my part of the draw, I knew it would be complicated from the start," Tsonga told a reporter as the claycourt behind him was being watered down for Richard Gasquet`s match against Czech Tomas Berdych.

Tsonga, who will turn 25 on Saturday, will next face either former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero or German Benjamin Becker.

Tsonga was put on the back foot early on, saving seven break points in his first two service games.

In the fourth game, he looked particularly upset after a couple of calls went against him and he quizzed umpire Carlos Bernardes loudly with the full backing of the roaring fans.

Bernardes refused to back down and within seconds an equally frustrated Almagro was also questioning the umpire after he felt he had been on the receiving end of a wrong line call.

Bureau Report