Wimbledon 2012: Tsonga is a potential champion, says Hewitt

Lleyton Hewitt believes Jo-Wilfried Tsonga can win Wimbledon after the fifth seed beat the Australian in straight sets

jo wilfried tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was beaten by Novak Djokovic at SW19 last year Photo: Marianne Bevis

jo wilfried tsonga

Lleyton Hewitt tipped Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as a potential Wimbledon champion after the fifth eased to a straight-sets victory over the Australian in the first round.

Hewitt has seen his ranking plummet to 202 in the world after undergoing a toe operation in 2011 and the 2002 champion has not won a match since his third-round victory over Milos Raonic at the Australian Open.

Tsonga was in impressive form and wrapped up a 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory over the wildcard in one hour and 58 minutes, setting up a second-round meeting with Guillermo García-López, who beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin in five sets.

The French No1 managed to beat Roger Federer in the quarter-finals last year before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the last four – and Hewitt believes Tsonga can win the Wimbledon crown this time around.

“Jo has a chance. He has already proven that he can beat Federer, coming back from two sets down last year in a big match and beating Roger, you’re putting your hand up,” said Hewitt.

“The tough thing for him is that deep in the tournament he’s going to have to beat at least two, maybe three good players in a row.

“He still comes a little bit in and out of matches mentally. But obviously if he’s serving well then he’s going to be very tough to beat.”

The 31-year-old also paid tribute to the vocal Australian support on Court 1 and added that he hopes to be at SW19 again next year.

“I get good support here from the Australians every time I play here. The English, as well,” he added.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing here. I’ve had great success here and Queen’s down the street, as well.

“I’d like to be back here, absolutely, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

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