ROLAND GARROS 2013
Tsonga Thanks Federer, Breaks Out The 'Bubbly'
by ATP Staff|
ATPWorldTour.com takes a look at the news and talking points at Roland Garros on the second Tuesday.
A Friend Indeed
Following his quarter-final win Tuesday in the Roland Garros quarter-finals, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga shared a warm exchange with Roger Federer at the net. “I thanked him, because I said, ‘Okay, thank you to let me win this time because in the past it was not always this way. (Laughter.) So, you know, thank you,’” disclosed Tsonga, who had come into the match with a 3-9 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against the Swiss. “We have a good relationship. He's smart. And of course he just laughed and told me, ‘Good luck for the rest of the tournament.’”
Break Out The ‘Bubbly’
How does a Frenchman celebrate after reaching the Roland Garros semi-finals for the first time? “You can’t live without any pleasure at all, so maybe tonight I'll indulge myself in having some sparkling water, some bubbles in my water,” said Tsonga.
Worth The Wait
At the age of 28, Tsonga is playing some of the best tennis of his career under the guidance of Australian coach, Roger Rasheed. It has been a long process, with highs and lows along the way. The Frenchman explained on Tuesday the different phases he has been through to reach his current mind set and self-belief.
“I'm more mature, but this is quite logical. I think lately I have been making the right choices. I made the choice of being alone. I decided to practise alone because it was a challenge for me to see how much I love tennis. And making sure I was not trying just to respond to other people's expectations; that I really wanted it myself. I realised that I just loved tennis, that it was something extraordinary, that I would really want to do that.
“After a while, I realised it was tough staying alone because, of course, there is the game itself. But there are many other things you have to manage as a tennis player. You have to be on time for practising every day. You have to eat correctly. You have to sleep well. You need the life of a champion.
“It's always useful to have people around you who can help you doing that. I think Roger Rasheed is helping me to be more serious. Also, he can convey his passion for tennis. He loves the game. Also he's enthusiastic about everything, about tactics, about what is happening on the court, and also physically he's really pushing me. He wants me to do my best every day.”
King Of Clay Uncovered
Pat Cash, John McEnroe, Mark Philippoussis, Mats Wilander and Carlos Moya weigh in on Rafael Nadal's return and his bid to win eight Roland Garros titles in this ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Rio feature.
"Yannick Noah is an integral part of France's rich tennis history, and it was very fitting to present his Hall of Fame ring here at Roland Garros where he had such a tremendous and iconic victory 30 years ago," said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, who presented Noah with the ring.
The personalised Hall of Fame rings, introduced in 2011, are being presented to the tennis legends as a symbol of their Hall of Fame enshrinement. Noah was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
Novak Djokovic missed the memorial service held by the Serbian Tennis Federation on Monday in honour of Jelena Gencic, but was present in spirit. His mother, Dijana, read a farewell letter at the gathering, written by the World No. 1 to his first coach.
“My dear Jelena, I am immensely sad to be saying goodbye to you today,” Djokovic wrote. “You prepared me for many situations in life—for wins, for triumphs, for our trophies—but I am completely unprepared for our parting. Not being able to see you off makes me endlessly sad. Still, I know that you’d be mad if I gave up or decreased my chance to fulfill this final wish of ours, winning Roland Garros… I promise that I will speak your name to future generations and that your spirit will live on on our tennis courts.” Read the full letter
Gencic passed away aged 76 on Saturday. Her funeral service will be held Wednesday in Belgrade.
For some players, the clay has been shaken off their shoes as they start to prepare for their grass-court campaigns in England and Germany. For Kevin Anderson and his wife Kelsey, the trip to England means the opportunity to get started on a grass court tradition – Pimms. Kelsey posted on Twitter: