Rallying Tsonga outlasts Shapovalov in five-set epic

Getty Images

Already a fan favourite at the Australian Open, 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga further endeared himself to the Melbourne public following his titanic five-settle battle with teenage sensation Denis Shapovalov.

Charismatic Frenchman Tsonga faced a second-round exit at Melbourne Park, having found himself 4-1 and 5-2 down in the fifth and final set against his talented 18-year-old opponent on Margaret Court Arena.

Shapovalov, regarded as one of the best up-and-coming players on the ATP World Tour, upstaged Tsonga in straight sets at the US Open last year.

But 15th seed Tsonga – who dazzled the crowd with a number of shots for the highlight reel, including an audacious tweener – won the final five games to advance to the third round 3-6 6-3 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 on Wednesday.

A quarter-finalist last year, Tsonga will face either Nick Kyrgios or Viktor Troicki in the next round following the three-hour, 37-minute epic.