UPDATE 1-Tennis-Tsonga ups pace with victory in all-French affair

Fri May 31, 2013 7:17pm BST

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PARIS May 31 (Reuters) - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continued his march towards a potential French Open quarter-final with Roger Federer by reaching the fourth round with a 6-1 6-2 7-5 win over fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy on Friday.

Sixth seed Tsonga, the highest-ranked French player in the either singles draw, next meets Serbian Viktor Troicki.

"I was more solid than in the previous round," said Tsonga in a courtside interview.

Asked how he would spend his day off, he replied: "I'm not going shopping because I'm not allowed to ... I'm not allowed to cuddle either because it's energy-sapping. There's not much I'm allowed to do so I'm going to practice".

Tsonga, who has yet to drop a set, took 102 minutes to dispose of Australian Open quarter-finalist Chardy on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The 28-year-old Tsonga, as usual, relied on a big serve and a booming forehand and ended 25th seed Chardy's ordeal on his second match point with a service winner.

Tsonga said he loved playing on courts made heavy by damp weather.

"I feel good when it's heavy because it gives me time to strike the ball and also gives me time to run from one ball to the next because it's going slower," he told a news conference.

"I can have my power from the baseline felt by the opponent."

French 15th seed Gilles Simon also reached the fourth round when he beat American Sam Querrey 2-6 6-3 2-6 7-6 (2) 6-2.

But there was double despair for France after wildcard Gael Monfils's 2-6 6-7 (5) 6-2 7-6 (3) 6-2 defeat by Tommy Robredo of Spain and Julien Benneteau's 6-3 6-4 7-5 loss to Roger Federer.

Monfils, who has recently been hampered by a nagging knee injury, wasted four match points before crumbling in the decider.

Earlier, home hopes Marion Bartoli and Richard Gasquet advanced to the third round.

Seventh seed Gasquet demolished Poland's Michal Przysniezny 6-3 6-3 6-0 and next plays Russian Nikolay Davydenko.

Bartoli, seeded 13 in the women's event, battled past Colombian qualifier Mariana Duque 7-6 (5) 7-5 to set up a clash with former champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; editing by Tony Jimenez)

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