Tsonga: Noah is like my big brother
Originally published on: 11/06/12 00:00
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga may not have a coach but the world No.5 has plenty of experienced voices to call upon when he needs advice. In particular Tsonga turns to his fellow Frenchman, Yannick Noah, champion of Roland Garros in 1983. Tsonga says that Noah has become like “a big brother” to him.
Tsonga told L’Equipe, France’s national daily sports newspaper: “I’ve got two or three champions in my corner. Last summer I met Andre Agassi and I have a super relationship with him. In January, during the Australian Open, I talked to Pat Rafter a lot. Guy Forget was my Davis Cup captain for a long time.
“And then there’s Yannick, who is always ready to give advice and a helping hand. When things get on top of me or I need impartial advice, I call him. Yannick isn’t someone who can be influenced by other people. He doesn’t have any vested interests. He looks at things from an objective point of view and I like that.”
Tsonga, who is the No.2 seed for this week's Aegon Championships at Queen's Club, said that the advice was not on a technical level because Noah had told him: “I left the game a long time ago. You guys don’t play like we did.” Instead, Tsonga said that Noah advised him about broader issues in his career.
“When I call him it’s like I’m calling my big brother,” Tsonga said. “When he talks it’s as if he knows everything about my life. He has been through everything that I’m going through now. He’s already been there. He has the words to talk to me about it. That’s a real plus. He was French number one. He played in the Davis Cup. He won Roland Garros. I’ve got so much that I can learn from him.”