Tsonga’s 2017 aim is to be consistent
‘I want to get back in the top 10’ in short term, he says
ABU DHABI // Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has set sights on forcing his way back into the top 10 in the new season after closing his Mubadala World Tennis Championship campaign with a confident 6-7, 6-3, 10-3 win over the 10thranked Tomas Berdych.
Starting 2016 at No 10, Tsonga climbed three places by mid-April before a leg-injury cut short his French Open campaign and see him drop to No 12 in June.
A month later he was back in the top 10 before injury struck again – this time in his left knee – forcing him to retire from his US Open quarter-final against Novak Djokovic.
“When you are injured, you cannot give your best, [and] you cannot beat those guys,” said Tsonga, currently ranked 12th, who will usher in the New Year at tonight’s Coldplay concert at the du Arena on Yas Island. “So, the most important thing for me in 2017 is to be consistent.
“To be honest, I have set targets every year and every year it has been difficult. Anyway, I set my targets really high so that I can go as far as possible.
“The target for me in the short term is to get back into the top 10, be consistent and stay there so that I am able to play against these top guys every week, create opportunities to win against them, and go far in the big tournaments.”
Tsonga, like Berdych, will be opening his 2017 campaign in Doha next week. The Frenchman said he can take plenty of positives from his two matches in Abu Dhabi, especially the way he fought back to win the second set against Berdych and then the super tiebreak. “It was a good match for me,” he said.
“Of course, there are things I could have done better, but I played well. I started returning well in the second set. When I am returning well, I am a better player.”
Injuries hampered Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s pursuit of a better ranking in 2016.