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May 27, 2015

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga


6-4, 6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Playing at home here, do you find it more helpful or more stressful to have large groups of fans cheering for you?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: No, I think it's helpful, because, you know, you have many positive things, you know, from other people. That's nice. For that, you want to give your best. You know, always took it like this, you know. For me it's something positive. And the cheer for me, they help me to give my best on court. So I think it's good.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Was it difficult for you today because you have never had such an easy draw?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, you never know what's going to happen. You never know the level of your opponent. You never know about your own level. Of course it's good. There is nothing I can say about that except the fact that I didn't spend too much time on the court. That I was robust. Played a serious game. I did the job. Whatever happens, it can only be helpful for the rest, because I'm not losing energy. Before I start playing even stronger players, it's good to be fresh. I will certainly have to fight big fights, so it's all the best to save energy. This is what I did, and it's good.

Q. Rafa said he didn't want to have Bernardes as an umpire since February. Wawrinka said it happened to him once, but he also thinks that big players have a good position in that respect. Do you understand that?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, I do understand, on the one hand, and then it's also a bit complicated, because we give our best on the court, and I guess the umpires do their best. When we're not good we have a direct sanction. We are out of the tournament or if we are not in the top 100 players, we are out of Grand Slams altogether. So I don't know what I should think about this. It could happen to me. There is one umpire I have the feeling that each time I played with him there was something that happened, whereas most of the time nothing happens with the umpires. But that's the way it is. If really they don't get on and it creates major problems on the court, then it's okay. But if it's because the umpire is not in his favor during the match but still follows the rules, then I do not understand. Did I sum it up okay? Yeah? No, what I mean is if the umpire is unfair and always rules against him, okay, but if the player takes one minute between each point and he gets a sanction because he took too much time, then I'm not okay with that.

Q. It was 32 years ago that Noah won the tournament here. So the French have been waiting for quite a long time. What would be the impact if a French guy was to win here in a few days' time?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: I haven't got a clue.

Q. Haven't you ever thought how society would react here?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: No, not a clue.

Q. You're not interested that much?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: No, I'd be very interested in winning, and then what comes after that, I don't know. I have no idea. They're happy when we win a first round, so I guess if one of us was to win the tournament, it would be huge for a country like ours. We organize this tournament and we love tennis, because there are many tennis fans in France, and I think it would be an exceptional event. It would be a very special moment. I think everybody in this room remembers about Yannick's win, and that was 32 years ago. So, yes, of course it would be a very special moment.

Q. We have seen you with dancing your thumbs after you won. Does it mean that the true Jo-Wilfried is back?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: No, there are days I want to do that. Today this was one of those days, so I did it.

Q. (Off microphone.)
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: I don't know. There are things I do not control at all times. I can't control my emotions at all times. That's it. In life, I'm quite spontaneous, so if I feel like it, I do it. I don't think about it beforehand.

Q. There is something difficult to explain, the popularity of players. You are quite popular, quite a showman. At international level, when we talk about other players, we see that Federer and Nadal are far more popular than Djokovic, who is equal or even above them. What's your relationship with them? How do you explain that? Is there any explanation?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, the only explanation I could give is that Djokovic is very, very good, very impressive, but I don't think he has as many wins as Roger and Rafa. They have been on the tour for a longer time than him, so that's quite normal. If Djokovic continues playing at this level for another few years, he will be just as popular as Rafa or Roger. Well, I imagine. I don't know, actually. But that's my guess. Yeah, I consider that he's still one step below because he's not won Roland Garros for 10 years in a row, he's not won 17 Grand Slam tournaments. So he still has a bit of a journey to get there.

Q. If you had a preference for your opponent next round?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, I have no preference, honestly. I never played Pablo. Well, at least I can't remember if I ever played him. You're the journalist. You should know (laughter). But I can't remember ever playing Pablo. So I played Philipp a few times in Grand Slam here, and on clay quite a few times. So I'd say I have a preference for Philipp, I have played him, I know what to expect, but whatever happens, these are two great players on clay and I will have to be very strong.
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