speaking with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
The world No 12 reflects on dealing with injuries, his preparations for 2017, and working with his Mubadala World Tennis Championship opponent David Goffin on the practice court.
Excited to get started
Plagued by injuries throughout his career, Tsonga is excited about starting the new season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship without any pain in his knees. The Frenchman, who faces David Goffin today in the first round of the competition in Abu Dhabi, is also scheduled to become a father for the first time in April.
‘A good opponent’
Of how he has built up to the 2017 season, Tsonga said: “I have prepared really well in the off season, so I feel really good. I had a few practices with David Goffin in the last couple of days. It’s nice to play with him because he is now part of the best players in the world. So, it’s good to have a good opponent for practice.”
After a mixed 2016 in which his best efforts at a grand slam were quarterfinal appearances at Wimbledon and the US Open, Tsonga said: “To be honest, I feel am still young and feeling good. The end of 2016 was good for me, so that raises my expectations for 2017. Physically I feel really well, so I hope it’s going to be a good year.”
‘I don’t have pain anymore’
On his injuries, Tsonga said: “The past year was difficult because I had the problem with my knee. I was coming back every time. My body balance was not that good with this knee and it gave me a lot of trouble. It was difficult. Towards the end of last season, the problems with my knee came to an end. Now, I don’t have pain anymore.”
As to impending fatherhood, Tsonga said: “Mentally, I feel good. It gives me confidence and also, I hope, happy things will come in April. That’s why I am feeling young as I have a new objective in life.”
Mona Al Marzooqi