He may have missed a chance to play Rafael Nadal at the Brisbane International.
Former Australian Open finalist Tsonga booked a Brisbane quarter-final against the world No.31 with a straight-sets win over lucky loser Taro Daniel of Japan.
Ex-world No.5 Tsonga admitted he was pumped up to take on 17-time grand slam winner Nadal in the second round at Brisbane in his comeback from a knee injury.
However, Nadal withdrew from the tournament on match eve with a thigh strain in a worrying sign ahead of the Australian Open.
Instead of taking on the world No.2, Tsonga suddenly had to plan for the lively Daniel who was injected into the main draw as the highest-ranked losing qualifier.
“You go from the challenger to the guy that is supposed to win – it’s not easy,” Tsonga said of the late switch.
Tsonga was still able to take a confident stride on the comeback trail with the 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 triumph over world No.77 Daniel.
The 33-year-old is trying to regain his mojo after being sidelined for almost eight months last year due to the knee injury that required surgery.
Now ranked No.239, Tsonga missed the chance to gauge his injury return against Nadal.
But he looked forward to testing himself against Hewitt clone de Minaur ahead of the opening grand slam.
“He reminds everybody of a certain Lleyton Hewitt, of course, but maybe a little bit more aggressive,” Tsonga said.
“Because I played Lleyton a few times. He (de Minaur) has got the legs, the same legs (as Hewitt) and he’s very aggressive on court.
“For sure he (de Minaur) is going to be one of the favourites in the future.”
A day after upsetting defending champion Nick Kyrgios, Chardy overcame world No.185 Uchiyama 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-4).
But the biggest buzz was created by Tsonga, who registered back-to-back wins for the first time since February.
An energised Tsonga looked very different to the one who plummeted down the rankings in 2018 with a modest 5-7 record.
His slide ensured he finished outside the top 20 in the year-end rankings for the first time in 10 years.
However, the powerful Frenchman said he was starting to regain the confidence that sparked his stellar 2008 run to the Australian Open final.
“That changed my life because I came from nowhere,” Tsonga said of 2008.
“Hopefully I can continue to build good memories (in Melbourne).”