J. TSONGA/R. Nadal 64, 06, 75
An interview with: JO WILFRIED TSONGA
Q. About the dive, it was a superb offensive one in that critical moment. Did you do that in practice or it was spontaneous?
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Is that the only thing you remember about this match? I mean, for me it was today or never. At the moment you see the ball a little bit far. You know it’s going to be difficult to stay on your feet. You just go. You don’t think about anything at this moment. Just to try to catch the ball. That’s what I did. It works.
Yeah, I’m really pleased to did that, and that’s it.
Q. What happened in the second set and how did you turn it around again?
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, in the second set he broke me early in the set playing a good game. After that I felt a little bit tired. I said, Okay, who I have in front of me, it’s Rafa. I know if I going to come back it’s going to be a war. I thought I will not be able to have enough energy until the end if I fight for this one.
I just tried to play with my mind, make him run more than me, just be ready for the third set.
Q. You’ve had some long matches this week. Are you going to be okay for the final?
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, hope I will be okay. You know, I mean, all along the season I work hard to be able to play those match. When it happens, you know, I’m really happy to work hard because I know I can count on my body. It’s something great for me because it was not always like this. Today I’m a lot stronger than I was maybe few years ago. I think it’s good for me.
Q. Given how your season began with the injury, how satisfying is it to finish this way with two finals in a row and a chance to get back into the top 10?
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, I feel good. To be honest, the season was difficult with a lot of up and down. I mean, this surface is one of my favorite, of course. I know I’m able to play good tennis.
To be honest, before to come here, I didn’t know if I will be able to play that good. But finally I play really good, so it’s good for me. I hope it’s going to continue.
Q. Is there a word ‘family’ in your writing? What did you write after the match?
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: I just say hello to my family and all my friend. I know they’re watching the match. For me it’s really important to stay connected with them.
Q. Seems like you dive a lot.
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: I did once only.
Q. You always do some difficult movement on court. Have you ever thought that’s the reason why you got injured?
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Not really. Not really.
Q. Are you afraid you’re going to hurt yourself?
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: No, I’m not afraid. I don’t know what to say. When I dive, you know, I decide to dive. I just take care of my body when I dive just to be safe.
Once I broke my finger. But I didn’t choose to dive. I just slipped on the court, but it was not my fault. Yeah, so when I dive I never hurt myself with that.
Q. Can you look ahead to the final. It’s going to be either Novak or Andy.
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, anyway, it’s going to be a player who killed my career (laughter).
Anyway, they just very good. There is nothing to say about it. They’re very consistent all along the season. I don’t know. I admire them a lot because it’s very difficult what they do, to be able to play tennis like this, to be consistent, to be close to the fans, to be always ready to do interview and stuff. It’s never easy. We never repeat that enough.
So, anyway, I will play against a very good player. I know it’s going to be difficult. But it’s for me an opportunity to hold a new trophy anyway because I’m in final. It’s one match. If I win it, I’m the champion this week. I’ll take that like an opportunity, so I will give everything.
Q. Age is just a number. Lately a lot of players age over 30 have been playing good. You haven’t been playing at this top level for long years. Do you feel the same energy and motivation compared to five years ago or something? When you’re on the practice court, do you still feel like you can improve a lot, you have room to improve?
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, I know I’m able to play really good tennis. I was injured a lot last couple of years. But I always came back to my best level. Was close to the top 10 or inside.
You know, it make me believe that if I’m a little bit more consistent outside of the court, I can be a better player. I continue to believe in myself.
Q. If it is Andy Murray tomorrow, have you seen much of his matches this week? What do you think you would have to do to beat him?
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: I think to beat him I just have to play my best tennis, really be focused on what I’m doing. I know when I play my best tennis I’m able to do a lot of damage.
Yeah, I think it’s the most important for me to be really consistent in my game, push hard all the time. I did it once last year. After that he beat me few times, but I was not enough aggressive, I think. So I will try to do that.
Q. Is that the key against him, to always be aggressive, to always attack?
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: No, it’s not always the key. But the key for me to play good tennis is this one. I’m not very good when I’m doing something else.