Tennis: Sluggish Tsonga pays price for not matching Olivo's energy

France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (right) walks past Argentina's Renzo Olivo during their match.
France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (right) walks past Argentina's Renzo Olivo during their match.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - Renzo Olivo's energy and hunger for success cost Jo-Wilfried Tsonga a place in the second round of Roland Garros, the French 12th seed said after his shock exit by Argentine on Wednesday (May 31).

Tsonga, 32, bowed out after saving three match points in the only game played on day four of the tournament after the match was interrupted by fading light on Tuesday, eventually losing 7-5 6-4 6-7(6) 6-4 to the 25-year-old Olivo, who is playing in his first French Open.

"He really wanted to do his best and it showed," Tsonga told reporters.

"He's young. He's angry. It's his first Roland Garros, so for him it's something huge. Yeah, he took his chance, and he did it.

"He was full of energy."

Tsonga acknowledged that he had struggled for rhythm after making 73 unforced errors during the contest.

"I didn't have the best feeling yesterday or even today," he added.

"I never really found the right pace... (but) I fought with the weapons I had. I gave my best all the way to the end.

"The ball didn't really leave my racket the way I would have wanted it to, and if I knew what went wrong, I would have changed it. The ball didn't seem to go exactly where I wanted it to. That's it."

Tsonga's victory at last week's Lyon Open put him in contention to become the first Frenchman to lift the Musketeers' Cup since Yannick Noah in 1983, and the irony of falling at the very first hurdle was not lost on him.

"Last week, I won my first-ever clay tournament and today I lost at the French Open. It's the paradox of tennis," he added.

"What I'm interested in is the future, and I hope I'll play better in the next tournaments.

"Tennis runs in cycles. There are victories. There are disappointments. I think the most important is to remain as (emotionally) stable and consistent as possible... because if you work well, you're always rewarded at some point.

"If it's not today, it will be another day."