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Tsonga: I like to play under pressure


 

Originally published on: 16/04/13 00:00

Tsonga may have never gone beyond the quarter-final of a Masters 1000 event on clay but the Frenchman believes that all could change this year. The 2008 Australian Open finalist, speaking ahead of his opening match against Nikolay Davydenko at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, says he is ready for what he calls “the most important” part of his season.

“I will play this tournament with already two matches on clay,” said Tsonga, who won both his Davis Cup matches in France’s 3-2 loss to Argentina on the clay of Buenos Aires last week. “For me, I just need to adapt my game on this surface. It’s a good surface for my game.”

Five of Tsonga’s ten ATP titles have come on home soil – in Paris (2008), Marseille (2009 and 2013) and Metz (2011 and 2012) – and the 27-year-old admits he thrives in front of a partisan crowd.

“For me, [playing at home] is an extra motivation, because I always like to play under pressure,” said Tsonga, who came within a point of upsetting Novak Djokovic in the French Open quarter-final last year. “I always use the crowd to help me during my matches.

“It’s the most important part of the season for me, especially because I have to play a Grand Slam in my country,” he added. “I will use this period to practise a lot, to be ready for Roland Garros."

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