Tsonga US Open Interview | 1st Round | Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Q. You have won a lot of matches on that Grandstand court in the last couple of years. Why do you think you play so well in that court?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA: I don't know, but anyway I like this court. I played many times on it. I played against very good players on this one and I did some very good matches. I like to play on this one.
Q. How do you think you played today?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA: I think I played good tennis the first two sets, and after that I lost a bit concentration at the beginning of the third set. Then I came back, and, you know, I did some effort to come back. It was not easy today because the weather was hot. I'm happy to go through this round really quickly.
Q. In tennis we have a big 3 and we have another three who could be a big 6 with you and Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych winning alongside you today. If you examine yourself and think about this issue, we know how great Federer and Nadal is. What is it in your mind that you need or that is lacking yet for you to win a Grand Slam title?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA: I think I still have to improve a lot of things in my game. Not also in my game, but also physically I have to be a bit quicker. I have to move a bit better to win against these guys, so I work on it. But anyway, you know, they are unbelievable and it's tough. Every year I'm better and better. I feel better and better on the court. I hope one time I will break this series of victories of these guys.
Q. When we look at the results, you have been very close; great match with Novak at the French Open and other matches like that. In your heart, do you feel close?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA: In my heart I feel like it's difficult but, you know, it's always in my mind. You know, I play tennis to win big tournament like this. I mean, since I'm kid I dream about it. This is what give me motivation. It's to win something like this. You know, I never give up, and I will work, you know, until I cannot work anymore.
Q. Before Roland Garros you famously said a Frenchman wasn't going to win Roland Garros. Do you think a Frenchman can win the US Open this year?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA: I don't know. We'll see. (Laughter.)
Q. You're wearing a New York T‑shirt.
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA: I will say it's like Roland Garros. For the moment we don't have Frenchman who won tournament like this. If I have to bet, I would not bet on it. But anyway, we work on it, and I hope one time it will come true.
Q. If you could go back in history and have an imaginary match against any player, Yannick or Borg or anybody, who would be most fun? Who would you most like to play that you've never played?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA: I will say ‑‑ who I will say? I don't know. Maybe I would say Patrick Rafter, you know, to see if it's still possible to play serve and volley on tour or not. (Smiling.)
Q. He was known for his humility. Was that always appealing about him, that he was always such a humble champion, Rafter?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, I loved him. I loved the way he played, you know. I have a lot of respect for this guy. You know, I want to play sometimes like him a serve and volley, but on the tour, you know, it's still difficult to play like this because the ball goes so fast and you don't have time to join the net. So I would like to play against a guy like this to see how is it.
Q. You talked about the heat today. Your conditioning, do you worry about seven matches, world class talent? Do you worry about hanging in there through the second week and winning the championship? Are you worried about your conditioning as you get into the second week if you do advance?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA: A lot, a lot. Today is good for me to finish this match in straight sets. Anyway, if I want to win a tournament like this with my ranking, you know, I have to beat maybe Murray in quarterfinal, Federer in semifinals, and Novak in final. (Laughter.)
Q. You have it all figured out.
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA: So, you know, for a player like me it's even more difficult than for them, you know, because they have to play two matches like this and I have to play three. So one, it's already something good if you win one match against one of these guys; two, it's amazing; three, for the moment it's impossible. I will work on it.
Q. Your capital city, Paris, is one of the great cities of the world; so is New York in this way. What can we in New York learn from Paris and what can Paris learn from New York?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA: Wow. Good question. You know, I feel in New York it's very attractive and very eclectic. I feel like there is no, how do I say that, social difference. I feel like everybody live with everybody, and sometime in Paris it's a bit different. But in Paris, you know, it's just beautiful and there is a lot of charm in the city. It's different. It's different, but both with beautiful anyway.
Q. You mentioned the draw, Murray in the quarters, Federer in the semis, and Djokovic in the final. You do look at the draw? Most players say they take one match at a time. You enter a tournament, and you do look at your quarter, your half?
JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA: You know, this is maybe the first time I watch all the draw. But anyway, I know I have to go step by step and I have to go in the next match to join the other ones. Anyway, you know, I take every match seriously and that's it.
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