Jo-Wilfried Tsonga shook off early nerves and cruised past British wild card Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round of Wimbledon.
The 12th seed, a former semifinalist, looked better and better as the match progressed. He particularly served well, never facing a break point to ease into the second round.
Tsonga takes opening set
Both players faced early trouble on serve, Norrie getting to deuce on Tsonga's serve and the Brit facing a 15-30 deficit in his opening service game. The breakthrough came in the seventh game as Norrie stared down two break points.
After saving them both, he gave his favored opponent a third chance, taken after telegraphing a volley that Tsonga met with a winner. After a hold to put him within a game of the set, The Frenchman closed out the set in style, good defense leading to a forehand just wide from Norrie.
Frenchman continues to cruise
Totally untroubled on his serve, Tsonga moved ahead 15-30 in the fourth game of the second set only to see Norrie peg him back and level the set at 2-2.
It wouldn't be long until the breakthrough finally occurred as the 12th seed pummeled the Brit with a series of devastating forehands to assume a 4-2 lead.
After more fine work on serve, a crunching backhand winner brought up two set points for Tsonga and he would need only one of those opportunities to convert and grab a two-set lead, the Frenchman now in full flight.
Tsonga races to the finish line
With his full arsenal on display, the Frenchman quickly held a break point on Norrie's serve at 1-0 in the third set. It was an aggressive forehand by the wild card that drew an error from Tsonga, allowing Norrie to momentarily escape trouble.
The Brit was not as fortunate in his next service game. At 15-40, an errant forehand gave Tsonga the break and a 3-1 lead. Serving impeccably, it was quickly 5-2 and as he had done in the previous two sets, the Frenchman broke to close the match. A devastating forehand brought up match point and a Norrie backhand error sent the 12th seed to a second round clash with Italian Simone Bolelli.
By the numbers
Tsonga was dominant in every aspect and the statistics bear this out. Eight aces, 82% of first serve points won, 30 winners to only 13 unforced errors and 18/25 net points all add up to a terrific opening statement for the veteran.