Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 17-01-18 interview

  • def. Shapovalov 3-6 6-3 1-6 7-6 7-5 

Q. How much of what you did in the fifth set was because you believed that you were never out of this match?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, you're right. Since the start, you know, I was behind him. I had to fight a lot and make him finish the match. He never did, so it's good for me.

But, yeah, the most important for me, it's to fight, give my best on court until the last point. That's what I did today. I think he deserved to win also today, but I was also courageous and I did my job at the end. I played well. I think I deserve it, too.

Q. When you made the between-the-legs volley, he netted the response, what did that do for you?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: It wasn't a very positive time. I just tell myself, you know, that it can continue if you stay stable in your mind, you can continue to win all those points. That's what I did.

Yeah, was surprising also for me to win this match. But I believe in it, so that's why I won.

Q. Was it a surprise because you didn't expect to last physically so well or because you were behind on the score?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: No, I was just behind on the score. 5-2 down, you know it's difficult. But you know it's only one break. If you continue to win your serve, he's going to have to finish it. It's never easy to finish the match. To finish a match, it's not easy.

Q. Especially when you are young like him.
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Especially when you are young. But there is some young player who can deal a little bit better with this. I think he's pretty good.

Q. Do you think your win comes out of experience?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Not really. Not really. I think I just played well after that. I returned, what I didn't do most of the match. I didn't return that well. At the end I returned well. That's it.

Q. What did you want to do better against him today versus the US Open matchup?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: First it's never easy to play a guy who you never play against, especially this kind of player who go for it. You never know what to expect from your baseline.

For me, I think it was an advantage to play him for the second time because I knew he was able to do things, crazy things like he did today. I think, yeah, was something great to play him for the second time here.

Q. In the fifth set, in the heat, what hurts more, the body or mind?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: I think both. When your body is hurt, your mind is hurt, too. But, you know, I saw at the end the calf was tight. I felt, I think, a lot better at the end than the start. I start pretty slow. We came from the locker room where the atmosphere is nice and everything, and you go in the heat, it's tough. It's tough for me.

Yeah, next time when I have to play in these conditions, I have to be a little bit more ready than what I did today.

Q. You're getting a bit older now. How does the body recover from these matches?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: I think it's going to be okay. For the moment I don't feel any pain, I would say. Yeah, I think I will recover and I will be able to play a good match against my next opponent.

Q. If that is Kyrgios, what are you expecting there?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Like today. He's got the fire in the arms. I think it's going to be a good match. Yeah, what can I say? Everybody know what he will try to do, what I will try to do, so...

I'm very exciting about it. It's good to play against those guys. They are, for sure, the present, but also the future of tennis. Yeah, I played so many guys when I was young like them. I remember I played Tim Henman in US Open. I played Marat Safin, Lleyton Hewitt, so many guys like this, of different generation. So it's always good to play against them and compare our tennis to their tennis.

Q. In the future, which one of the young guys do you think will emerge?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: I'm like you. I have no idea.

No, we don't know. Maybe it's not them. It's going to be another one who is going to come from the (indiscernible), I don't know. Everything can happen. Everything can happen.

Yeah, when I was I will say 20, I was not the best in my generation in France, for example. Then I worked, and I've been a good player in France. Anything can happen. They will all work. That's what is exciting, I think, about tennis: we never know.