Tsonga targets victory in Abu Dhabi to kickstart 2017 season
After a difficult year in which he was once again plagued by injuries, JoWilfried Tsonga has targeted winning the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) in Abu Dhabi at the end of December to kick start 2017 on a positive note. In the UAE capital to announce the draw for the ninth edition of the tournament, Tsonga will have to overcome Belgian debutant David Goffin in the opening round if he hopes to land the title. The world No. 12 will face Goffin on the same day 14-time major champion Rafa Nadal takes on Tomas Berdych for a place in the semi-finals. Speaking about his expectations for the Abu Dhabi event, Tsonga said: “This tournament is my best warm-up for the Australian Open, I get to play against the best players in the world and compare our preparation for next season. “When the guys come down here, they really want to test their tennis and it is a competition that is hard to win. I know it because I have never won it. “But I am looking forward to winning it this year, which would mean a great start to 2017.” The Frenchman once again struggled with injuries this year, with a knee problem forcing him to retire in his US Open quarter-final against Novak Djokovic. However, he believes he can still compete against the best players in the world when fully fit. “This year was really difficult, there were many injuries that restricted me playing well but at the end of the season I came back strong and I hope to continue that into 2017, which is a very important year for me,” said Tsonga. “I know if I play well at Mubadala, I have a chance to beat other players ahead, because the player who wins here usually ends up top three at the end of the year.” The MWTC will take place at the Tennis Centre in Zayed Sports City from December 29-31.