Tsonga plans to gatecrash 'big four' at Open
Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said on Tuesday his extra experience and improved backhand can help him upset the 'big four' at next week's Australian Open in Melbourne.sports Updated: Jan 13, 2009 13:27 IST
Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said on Tuesday his extra experience and improved backhand can help him upset the 'big four' at next week's Australian Open in Melbourne.
Pundits are tipping the winner of the year's opening grand slam tournament to come from the top-four ranked players -- Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, defending champion Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
The 23-year-old from Le Mans exploded on to the scene in Melbourne at the start of last year when he reached the final as an unseeded player defeating Nadal in straight sets in the semi-finals.
Tsonga has warned not to write off his chances for this year's Australian Open.
"I think I have more experience than last year, and also I think I have improved my backhand a lot," Tsonga told reporters ahead of his opening match at the Sydney International against Italian Simone Bolelli on Wednesday.
Tsonga would not hear of suggestions that this year's men's Open is a closed shop.
"I think I can beat them because I've done it already, so I will try another time," he said.
Tsonga heads into the Sydney tournament having played three matches in last week's Brisbane International where he went down to compatriot Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals.
"I played three matches last week and now I play better than last week and two weeks ago," he said.
"So I hope I will play better and better every day and I will play some more matches in Sydney."
Tsonga said he felt under no added pressure because of what he achieved at last year's Open.
"No pressure," he said. "I just want to play my best tennis all the time on all tournaments, so I never put pressure on me. I just play my game. That's it."
First Published: Jan 13, 2009 13:25 IST