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Tsonga Convinced He Can Win A Grand Slam Title

The Queen's Club, London

Tsonga© AFP/Getty ImagesJo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the 2011 final at The Queen's Club.

Jo Wilfried Tsonga will return to one of his favourite tournaments, the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club, 10th-16th June, convinced that he is capable of winning a Grand Slam tournament. 

Tsonga, who reached the Aegon Championships final in 2011, losing to Britain’s Andy Murray, has beaten all of the world’s Top four players at Grand Slam tournaments during his career. He can’t wait to return to The Queen’s Club just two weeks before The Championships, Wimbledon.

“The Aegon Championships is what tennis is all about,” said Tsonga. “It is full of history. For me you can not have a better tennis tournament. It’s a special place. I entered the Top 100 for the first time at Queen’s Club when I beat Lleyton Hewitt, who was the defending champion. It was also the first time that I did my ‘dance’ celebration (points his thumbs to his back) and the British people loved it! For me it’s a pleasure to be there. I’ve always played well on grass, I expect to win tournaments on it, so we will see what happens at Queen’s and at Wimbledon.”

Tsonga’s new coach Roger Rasheed certainly believes the best is yet to come for the 27-year-old Frenchman, who is World No. 8. 

“Jo has already been to a Grand Slam final (the 2008 Australian Open) and I believe he’s a player that can grab a Grand Slam title,” said Rasheed. “The good thing is that he’s a player that believes he can win a Grand Slam title, too.”

The pair only started working together at the beginning of 2013, and Rasheed believes that although it will take time for their association to reap dividends, it will happen eventually. 

“When you are making changes with a player, you can’t just click your fingers and make a difference,” he said. “When we got together I told him it would take a while to come together, but working with Jo is exciting. He has the game to make a real impact. He can be dangerous anywhere, but particularly on grass, because it’s natural to him. The most important thing for me is that he wants to make every day in training and on the court, a day to remember.”

Tsonga joins fellow Top 10 players Murray (No. 2), Tomas Berdych (No. 6) and Juan Martin del Potro (No. 7) in the Aegon Championships field, and knows that if he faces Murray, his conqueror in last year's WImbledon semifinal, he may have a problem.

“It’s great what Andy Murray has achieved and he deserves it, but to play against him is a nightmare!” he said. “You feel like the ball is coming back all the time. When I play against him I know I am the outsider, and I will always respect him.”

Murray is already scheduled to be in action on finals day. He will team up with Tim Henman to take part in Rally Against Cancer - an all-star doubles exhibition to raise money for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, which supports The Royal Marsden, the world-leading cancer centre treating British tennis player Ross Hutchins. Donations can be made here.

The 2013 Aegon Championships is one of four ATP & WTA grass-court tournaments staged and run by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) in the run up to The Championships, Wimbledon, and will be the next opportunity for fans to see Murray in action on British soil.

The Aegon Championships will be broadcast live, every day from 10th-16th June, on BBC Television and Eurosport.
 
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© Hiroshi Sato

© AFP/Getty Images

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