- French showman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won a few thousand more admirers as he got off the mark at the ATP World Tour Finals with a virtuoso display against Mardy Fish on Tuesday.
Tsonga, who reached the last four at Wimbledon this year with his dazzling brand of attacking tennis, stayed in the hunt for a semi-final place with a 7-6 6-1 defeat of the American who has now lost both his matches at the O2.
The world number six will know exactly what he needs to do in his third Group B match against Rafa Nadal after the Spaniard faces great rival Roger Federer in an eagerly-anticipated clash in the evening session.
Federer beat Tsonga on Sunday in three sets and Nadal also needed a deciding set to overcome Fish.
Year-end tournament debutant Fish fought hard to get back into the opening set, breaking Tsonga when the powerful Frenchman served at 5-4, but the tiebreak proved crucial.
Tsonga, sporting a pair of bright red tennis shoes, took it and despite dropping serve immediately in the second set he reeled off the next six games with a series of flamboyant swings of his racket.
A jaded-looking Fish could do nothing to stem the flow and lost his cool at one point, slamming his racket into the court and receiving a warning from the chair umpire.
“I played really well and it’s good to win my first match here,” Tsonga said on court after performing his trademark celebratory skip around the blue court.
“I can play without pressure in my last match now.”