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Australian Open Diary: Tsonga Applauds Coach's Motivation

Melbourne, Australia

Tsonga© AFP/Getty ImagesJo-Wilfried Tsonga is enjoying the influence of new coach Roger Rasheed

ATPWorldTour.com takes a look at the news and talking points at the Australian Open on the second Monday. 

Tsonga's Motivated By Coach Rasheed
Seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays Roger Federer in the quarter-finals and the Frenchman revealed he is benefiting from the motivational energy emitted by new Australian coach, Roger Rasheed - former coach to Lleyton Hewitt and Gael Monfils.

"He's giving me extra motivation...it's great because he's always positive," said Tsonga. "He wants maybe more than me to win. He's incredible. I try to be at his level and have exactly the same motivation because I think he can move some mountains," joked the right-hander.

In His Shoes
In a column for The Australian newspaper, Andy Murray discussed some special off-season training guests.

To get a better appreciation of how he trained, a group of journalists joined the World No. 3 in Miami, and received payback for the tough questions they asked over the years.

“My fitness trainer Jez Green and Ivan Lendl helped put them through their paces in December and I am pretty sure that a few days doing weights, pull-ups, Bikram Yoga and running through the sand in Miami is quite different to how they would usually spend the off-season,” said Murray.

Without naming names, Murray said a couple of his guests couldn’t manage a single chin-up, adding that the VersaClimber, a piece of gym equipment which Lendl has sworn by for decades, provided much amusement.

Raonic Could Have Been An Aussie
After his fourth-round defeat to Roger Federer on Monday night, Milos Raonic revealed he could have been Australian instead of Canadian. The 22 year old joked that the reason his parents chose Canada over Australia was because the immigration form was shorter.

“It was one page back and front. I was three years old, so I didn't fill out any forms for my immigration. I think for Canada it was one page. We had family, friends there to help us out starting off. And for Australia, we have here family, friends that come out to my matches. My mom was here last year in Melbourne. She stayed with them. It was a couple pages to move here. 

“I don't know how serious my dad replies about it. He always replies laughing. But that's the reason he tells me. That's the reason he told many people.”

Qureshi Inspired By Wheelchair Players
QureshiAisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi addressed the Australian Open Wheelchair Draw Ceremony as part of his Stop War Start Tennis Tour on Monday. “It is inspiring to see and hear the stories of how, through tennis, all of you have happy and healthy lifestyles,” said Qureshi. “I hope to highlight your efforts and achievements on the ATP World Tour. On behalf of my fellow players on the ATP World Tour, we applaud you.”

Federer Worried He'd Missed The Train
In an honest interview on the Australian Open website, Federer said he struggled in the early stages of his career, admitting that the wasn’t as mentally or physically tough as someone like Lleyton Hewitt at the same age. “I was totally not that kind of a guy. I needed more time. You would think Bernard [Tomic] is that kind of a player too,” said the second seed.

“You want to make sure you don’t miss the train. I was worried that I was going to not get the message loud and clear,” revealed Federer, adding that he began to realise he was in a position to achieve his dreams.  “[You] don’t want to waste it, so many people would want to be in your shoes."

Separately, after cruising past thirteenth seed Milos Raonic in stunning fashion, Federer joked with the Rod Laver crowd and commentator Jim Courier.

In a nod to his absent rival, Rafael Nadal, who is famed for the muscles in his left arm, Federer explained why he put on a white undergarment below his match t-shirt. “I put it on because I’ve got big muscles, I’ve got to keep them warm. It’s particularly my left arm that’s so impressive. It shocks all the opponents when I walk out and they see a big huge left arm when I’m tossing the ball. It’s scary!," he laughed.

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