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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Tsonga leads seeds into second round

Tsonga leads seeds into second round

February 04, 2009 10:27 IST

Top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga swept to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Brazilian Thiago Alves in the first round of the South African Open in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The Frenchman was joined in the second round by second seed David Ferrer, fifth seed Jeremy Chardy and seventh seed Kristof Vliegen.

Alves pushed Tsonga hard in the first set but his game fell apart in the second and as he struggled to handle the power and speed of the former Australian Open finalist.

Tsonga said it had taken him some time to find his best form.

"Your first match at altitude is always difficult. I was just trying to put the ball in the court and I did that very well from 4-4 in the first set," Tsonga said.

"Everything was perfect in the second set and I felt at home with the crowd behind me."

Chardy continued a successful day for France when he dispatched Czech Jiri Vanek 6-0, 6-4, while Belgium's Vliegen survived a tough first set to beat British qualifier Ross Hutchins 7-6, 6-4.

Ferrer reacted to losing the opening two games of his match by demolishing Israel's Dudi Sela 6-2, 6-0 in 58 minutes.

"I was happy to attack from the baseline. He started tough, but I changed nothing," Ferrer said.

The South African Open is being staged for the first time in 13 years.

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