Impossible is nothing: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

World number 10 excited about playing in the Abu Dhabi Championship



By Rituraj Borkakoty (rituraj@khaleejtimes.com)

Published: Tue 24 Dec 2013, 1:53 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 6:53 PM

He may have secretly rued his luck for having born in an era dominated by some of the all-time greats in tennis, but Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the hard-hitting Frenchman, is not ready to give up yet.

“Yes, I still believe I can win the Slams. Otherwise I will not be here competing with the big guys,” said the 28-year-old star who would be playing in the three-day Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

Briton Andy Murray, who had lost four Slam finals before finally tasting success in last year’s US Open, is obviously an example to follow for Tsonga. “Yes, he proved that if you want to achieve something badly, you will eventually be able to achieve that. Impossible is nothing. I am very passionate about lifting my first Slam title,” added the 2008 Australian Open runner-up. Remarkably, Tsonga is the only man to have beaten the Big Four—Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray—in Grand Slams.

A knee injury kept him out of the game for four months, but the 2013 French Open semi-finalist is now pain free and ready to hurt his opponents once again with his booming serves and ferocious groundstrokes. “I am very excited about the Abu Dhabi tournament. This will be my first tournament after my injury. I am feeling good. I haven’t felt any pain on the knee in the last four weeks. So yes, it will be really nice to begin the new season in Abu Dhabi against the top players. Hopefully I will get off to a good start.”

Tsonga, whose face bears an uncanny resemblance to Muhammad Ali’s, will begin his campaign on Boxing Day against a player who would also be making a comeback after a painful bout with back injury.

“My first match will be interesting. Andy (Murray) is also making comeback. So we don’t know what to expect. But it will give us a good idea about where we are physically. Hopefully I can play well,” said Tsonga. The Frenchman believes Abu Dhabi gives the players a great opportunity to prepare for the Australian Open in the best possible way. “It’s a great tournament obviously. Especially because you get to test yourself against the very best in Abu Dhabi. It always attracts the top players. It’s great to be able to play in a tournament like this before the first Grand Slam of the season.”

Tsonga revealed that he had changed his training staff in the pre-season. “I have got a new team now to help me. We have made good progress in the pre-season. Everything is going well.”

The current world number 10 said he was pleased with the way he performed in the French Open this year. “Yeah it was my first semi-final at my home Grand Slam. It’s was nice to prove people wrong. After all, many thought I couldn’t play on clay. But I showed I can play pretty good clay court tennis!”


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