Tsonga: I must get better and better


One-time Australian Open runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga knows he must improve if he is to progress beyond the fourth round at Melbourne Park.

French ninth seed Tsonga, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2008 final, advanced to this year's round of 16 thanks to a 6-4 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-4) win against countryman Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Friday.

Tsonga is now preparing for his fourth appearance in the Australian Open last 16 in the past five years but acknowledged improvement is needed ahead of his showdown with Japanese seventh seed Kei Nishikori.

"I'm feeling good. I had a good break last season," Tsonga told reporters.

"So I hope I will play better and better. I need matches anyway because I think I'm feeling good physically.

"But I really need to play better and better if I want to continue to be good in this tournament."

Tsonga and Nishikori have played six times previously, and the latter leads the head-to-head record 4-2.

The pair only met once last season, with Tsonga prevailing in a grueling five-setter to reach the French Open semi-finals.

Tsonga added: "Every time we played, it was a good fight. We have a different style. It's going to be good for spectators for sure.

"He's really fast. He's consistent. He never moves from his baseline. That's the most difficult things to do, is to push him in the backcourt. It is difficult because he takes the ball early and he's consistent.

"But I'm ready to battle."