Australian Open Tsonga targets top 10 with solid showing in Melbourne

The popular player has slipped to 12th in the rankings after reaching a career-high five.

  • Published:
Knee injuries hampered Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's 2016 season play

Knee injuries hampered Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's 2016 season

(AFP)

French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga says he is targeting a spot in the top 10 as his new year goal after knee injuries hampered his 2016 season.

The popular player has slipped to 12th in the rankings after reaching a career-high five and is keen to get back into the groove with a solid showing at the Australian Open next week.

"Last year was difficult for me, I didn't play that much, just 13 or 14 tournaments," he said after beating Borna Coric 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) in an exhibition match at the Kooyong Classic.

"So the challenge for me this year is to play a little bit more and to be able to have a better ranking.

"I want to be seeded in the big tournaments and then get some good results, the top 10 naturally (is a goal) but the top eight if I can of course because you're a little bit protected in the big tournaments."

Wang Qiang of China hits a return during her 3rd place match against Australia's Destanee Aiava on the third day of the Kooyong Classic tennis tournament, in Melbourne, on January 12, 2017 play

Wang Qiang of China hits a return during her 3rd place match against Australia's Destanee Aiava on the third day of the Kooyong Classic tennis tournament, in Melbourne, on January 12, 2017

(AFP)

Tsonga made the Australian Open final in 2008 and is keen for another deep run at the tournament.

"That's what I needed," he said after spening 79 minutes on court in summer sunshine.

"I played indoors last week and had three matches so it was good to play a match this week also to get ready for Monday or Tuesday."

Meanwhile, China's Qiang Wang finished third in the newly re-instated women's competition at Kooyong, beating Australian teen Destanee Aiava 6-4, 7-5.

The women's final will be played between Belgian Yanina Wickmayer and Sorana Cirstea of Romania on Friday.

The concluding session will also feature the men's decider between holder David Goffin of Belgium and Croat Ivo Karlovic.