Read & Watch: Tsonga Happy To Pass Lyon Test
Former champion to face Basilashvili or Lamasine
The 2017 champion, who improved to 6-0 at the ATP 250 tournament, came within two points of losing, but ultimately booked his place n the quarter-finals with a 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 win over two hours and 42 minutes. The penultimate game lasted 14 minutes, with Tsonga failing to convert five match points. He finally closed out with a forehand drop shot winner.
“It was good for me to play a long match like this,” said Tsonga. “I haven’t played a match this long for a while. I am not playing my best level, but I am giving everything mentally and that gives me confidence.”
Diez, who is No. 262 in the ATP Rankings, notched the biggest win of his career in the Lyon first round by beating No. 82-ranked Bernard Tomic. Former World No. 5 Tsonga, winner at the Open Sud de France (d. Herbert) in February, is currently World No. 85 – 14 months on from left knee surgery.
Tsonga will now prepare to face top-seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, a semi-finalist in Lyon last year, who defeated French lucky loser Tristan Lamasine 7-5, 7-5 one hour and 36 minutes. Basilashvili led 4-1 in the second set before coming through a tense finale.