Next-generation Australian hopeful Omar Jasika has been bounced out of the Australian Open, handed a straight-sets reality check by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Jasika was competitive but never in control against the ninth-seeded Frenchman, losing 7-5 6-1 6-4 in 103 minutes.
In his first meeting with a player ranked in the world’s top 75, Jasika was outgunned.
The 18-year-old showed glimpses of his potential, breaking Tsonga to lead the first set.
Jasika engaged his fine running game to win a stunning rally and break the Frenchman in the fifth game.
He was immediately broken back, then showed his heart to recover from 0-40 to hold serve.
Tsonga broke in the 12th game to claim a tight first set and blew his young competitor away in the second.
The third was more of a fight, with Jasika claiming a 20-shot rally that showed his determination.
But without the Frenchman’s weapons, he was unable to break the 2008 Australian Open finalist, who will play countryman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the third round.
The mismatch could be read in the statistics; both before and after the match,
Tsonga had a 30kg and eight centimetre advantage on the junior US Open winner, and used it to his advantage.
The Frenchman slammed 14 aces to one – including one to seal the contest – and more than doubled Jasika’s winners count.
Tsonga, who also paused to help a young ballgirl seek treatment for a blood nose, praised his young opponent.
“At the start he played really well and got on top of me … he’s got a different game than older players,” he said.
“He’s very talented.
“I started to understand a bit more and I played well, I’m really happy to get through.”