Tsonga: Slams and Masters ‘almost another sport altogether’
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who will play Roger Federer in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros, says he feels more in control at Grand Slam tournaments as opposed to Masters events.
“Yes, generally so,” he said. “It’s the tournament where I’m often the less preoccupied when I enter the court, because it’s clay, because it’s a long match in the offing. It’s not a Masters 1000, basically. It’s a different format, Masters 1000. It’s almost another sport altogether. I’m probably going a bit too far in saying that, but we had [Grigor] Dimitrov and is he going to fight [Novak] Djokovic in the Grand Slam? But it’s a different thing altogether to fight [Novak] Djokovic in Madrid [where Dimitrov upset the Serbian] or elsewhere, because you’ve got less mastery, less control of what’s going on, as opposed to here.
“Like with me and Jeremy [Chardy] in Toronto, I just came from the Olympics and I partied up till 5:00 in the morning, I took the plane, I played two days after in Toronto with many, many hours of flight time under my belt for a Masters 1000 tournament. But for a Grand Slam you arrive there much more prepared. You’re there for the long haul.”
Tsonga added that he feels he’s capable of beating one of tennis “Big 4” at a major, but has yet to prove he can do better than that.
“I know full well that I was able to beat them at a given point in time, and for me the real challenge is not to beat one but to beat several, one after the other,” he said. “Now, beating one, I know that I’m able to do that. Beating two, well, for the time being, I have never done it. So that’s the challenge. I say to myself that over a match I have always got an opportunity to win, no problem… I’m going to start the [Federer] match by obviously saying to myself that I can, that I can pose a problem for him and a serious one.”