Flamboyant Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has beaten South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in two tiebreak sets to level today’s Hopman Cup tie at Perth Arena.
There were no breaks of serve in the keenly-contested contest which Tsonga claimed 7-6 (4) 7-6 (3).
It continued Tsonga’s unbeaten record in singles matches on debut at Perth’s $1 million ITF mixed teams event.
The world No.8 had previously beaten Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 7-5 6-3 and USA’s John Isner 6-3 6-2 to show he is on track to go deep into the Australian Open starting at Melbourne Park on January 14.
Earlier Chanelle Scheepers gave South Africa the perfect start to the tie with a grueling 4-6 6-4 6-4 win against Frenchwoman Mathilde Johansson.
World No.60 Scheepers claimed what was a battle of fluctuating fortunes against No.86 Johansson in 170 minutes to put her country 1-0 ahead.
Scheepers and Johansson exchanged service breaks throughout the match before the 28-year-old South African emerged triumphant.
It was the first singles win by either player, Scheepers and Johansson both having lost to USA’s Venus Williams and Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues earlier in the tournament.
A mixed doubles rubber will decide the tie.