Tsonga banking on aggressive net play
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, whose new year's ambition is to break up the "big four" who dominate the rankings, revealed one of the weapons which may help him do it as he reached the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open.
The World No 6 from France came to the net more frequently and effectively than usual as he overcame the surprisingly persistent resistance of Flavio Cipolla, the world number 74 from Italy.
Go, jo! France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga returns to Italy's Flavio Cipolla
during their Qatar Open pre-quarter-final match in Doha yesterday.
"I have to find some new things," Tsonga said, after a 7-6 (10-8), 6-3 win over Cipolla, in which he trailed 3-5 in the first set, and saved two set points in a tense and fluctuating 18-point tie-breaker.
"For sure I have to do that to play against the big four," he said, referring to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
"I try to improve my game with something. It's difficult to be better, but I will continue to go to the net more."
Tsonga added of the top four: "You need to have something different -- they all have something different.
"Rafa (Nadal) is running a lot and plays with a lot of spin. Roger (Federer) takes the ball very early, and Novak (Djokovic) too. Andy Murray, he's an incredible defender, and his passing shots are just amazing.
You need something different to be the best player, so I try to follow my way, and I think my way is to be really offensive and play with my serve, my forehand, and of course my volley, too."
Tsonga plays World No 65 Spaniard Albert Ramos next. A win here, will set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with Federer.