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Tsonga eyes extra push from new coach

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Originally published on: 03/11/12 00:00

Tsonga, who has been going it alone on tour since splitting with Eric Winogradsky in April 2011, has enjoyed being able to play freely but the world No.7 now says he has to try something different to bridge the gap between him and the top four.

“The last couple of months I improved my game a lot,” said Tsonga, who was speaking in London ahead of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. “But I felt like I need something else to beat the top four so I will try with Roger who I think is the right person to do that.”

Rasheed has previously worked with former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt and Tsonga's friend Gael Monfils, who the world No.7 spoke with before approaching the Australian.

“Sure he will push me a lot,” Tsonga said of Rasheed. “[He'll] give me extra motivation to practise, to practise more, harder.

“Sometimes when I was alone it was not easy to go to practice every day by yourself. Sometimes you need somebody to have some support and at the end I was a bit tired to be by myself and like I said it’s something extra for me to have this so I hope that it will help me for that but also technically maybe.

“At the moment he’s just thinking of me in competition. We’ll see after exactly what we’ll do.”

Tsonga was drawn in Group A of the ATP World Tour Finals along with Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych and the 27-year-old will open his account in London against the Serb on Monday evening.

“I think this year I played good tennis, I didn’t do something huge but I played consistent, that’s why I’m here. I didn’t beat top ten guys but I’m here so I think I had a good year. I’m hoping in the next couple of months I will improve.”

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