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Saturday, March 25, 2023

‘I know I don’t do enough but…’

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga revealed that the 2008 Australian Open final loss to Novak Djokovic lingered long on his mind as he searched for an answer to why he lost that match and then beat the Serb in their next five meetings. In the 2008 Australian Open final, Tsonga got off to a positive start by winning the first set before Djokovic came from behind to prevail 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(2).

Tsonga then beat Djokovic in their next five meetings, but never played in a Grand Slam final again. “But this final served me and helped me. The match, the experience. Afterwards, I’m going to win the Bercy Masters 1000 at the end of the year.

I’ll beat Djokovic that week, by the way. The problem is that I’ve analyzed this final as it is due, too late. They tell you that it is the technical, physical, mental aspect. But analyzing each point, listening to things from the outside, you end up getting bogged down.

Sometimes things are much simpler. All my career I have wondered why. Why did I lose that final when I later beat him five times in a row? What happened? You never stop thinking. You try, you fall, you get up, you keep going, it’s part of a player’s career.

So this final is part of mine,” Jo-Wilfried Tsonga wrote for Eurosport. In the summer of 2011, Tsonga reached the Wimbledon semifinal before losing to Djokovic in four sets.

Djokovic and Nadal are currently tied at 22 Slams

Novak Djokovic shed some light on his rough upbringing in Serbia in a recent conversation with former pro Somdev Devvarman.

“Look, you know, I don’t do them because I want publicity. I do them because I feel I want to help, I want to be there for people who are less fortunate. I’ve come from Serbia in 90s where we’ve been through two wars, embargo for six years.

For four years not one Serbian athlete was allowed to go out from the country to compete in international competitions,” the Serb explained. “So I always have this awareness that there’s so, so many more people around the world that are much less fortunate and through my Foundation, through – you mentioned the tennis centre in Serbia – whatever I can, in whichever way possible, I try to be there for people. I know I don’t do enough, I can always do more, but I do my best,” Djokovic added.

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