Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the talented, charming and injury-prone Frenchman, has played in the French Open only once – way back in 2005. He’s making his long-overdue return to the terre battue this week, and with Gael Monfils injured (really?) and Richard Gasquet suspended, the crowd is sure to hang their hopes on the hardcourt-suited Tsonga.
Good thing Jo-Dub doesn’t mind the attention. In fact, he’s already planning a great big tennis orgy on Court Philippe Chatrier. Count me in, Jo! Here he is via Eurosport:
“I have an incredible desire to play, a desire that transcends everything. I’m excited at the idea of going on the court and giving my all.”
“It’s magic to know that whatever happens, people will be behind me. C’est magnifique. I don’t play tennis to fill my bank account but to fill the hearts of people.”
“The goal is really to get pleasure and give pleasure to people who will come to see me. I want to do something great here (at Roland Garros). For me it’s a unique tournament. If I could bring a touch of Jo, that would be cool.
“It would be fabulous to win a match in five sets. On center court, of course. At dusk. Anytime, really. Winning a match in five sets by doing something a little heroic, that would be top.”
Mon dieu, that may be the sexiest tennis press conference of all time! Here’s hoping Jo-Wilfried keeps his promises. I’m definitely curious about this “touch of Jo” stuff.
Tsonga will play countryman Julien Benneteau (blah! click here) in his first round. From there he’ll need all love the crowd can give him – his section of the draw includes Baghdatis, Monaco, del Potro and Djokovic. Bon courage, Jo!
Quotes via Eurosport – my translation from French.