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January 24, 2008

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. In your wildest dreams, did you expect such a victory?

Q. In your wildest dreams, did you expect such a victory?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, for me it's a big dream. I don't know what's about that. It's just amazing. I played unbelievable tonight.
I don't know what's about that?

Q. What worked for you tonight? What did you like about your game?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Everything. Everything was in and my backhand worked a lot and my serve also, my forehand, my volley, my dropshot, everything. It was -- I was moving on the court like never I move, so everything was perfect.

Q. Is there a point where you're saying, This is ridiculous; this just can't go on?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: It's ridiculous, for sure. For sure, because I think it's the first time I played this level, and it's here in semifinal of Australian Open. It may be the best moment for...

Q. So you never played this well anywhere against anyone at any level than what you played tennis?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Can you repeat.

Q. You never played anywhere, against anyone, at this level of tennis? You've never done this kind of thing before?

Q. How do you explain it? It's unbelievable, but how? Why? How do you explain that can happen?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: I don't know. Maybe before it was different because I never practice like this at the winter. I never practice like this. And this year, I have -- I made it, and it work. It work. That's all.

Q. Can you keep this level up for just one more match?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Yes. (laughter) Yes, I will try, for sure.

Q. Has the fact that you've had to come back from so many injuries given you more motivation to reach the highest level?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Maybe not more motivation, but maybe more pleasure. To be happy of what I'm doing. You know, it's a passion for me, so, yeah, maybe the pleasure.

Q. Were there times when you thought in your head you'd be able to do it, but physically your body wouldn't allow you to get to this level of tennis?

Q. Were there times when you had fears that your body, because of the injuries, wouldn't allow you to get to this level of tennis, even though in your mind you knew you could play at this level?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Yes, it was like that, no? I knew that I can play unbelievable, but my body was not ready for that before. Now is ready, so I do it.

Q. So walk us through what it's like to play tennis like that. I mean, do you see every ball in slow motion, or is the whole thing a blur? What is it like being out there when you can do that?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: I don't know. I take it like it's coming, you know. The ball come, I say, Okay, I hit here. And that's it.

Q. You seemed to know where his shots were going. Every shot he made you seemed to know where it was going before he hit it. Did you feel that way tonight, that you just guessed right every single time?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Yes, everything was right, you know? Like I said before, the ball come, and I say, Okay, I go there and I go to the net. That's it, you know. I have no more question to ask me, you know.
I have to play like that, and if I think, Okay, I play there and maybe after - no. I take like it's coming when I see it.

Q. Against Youzhny at the end you looked a little bit nervous. But tonight did you feel the same at the end when you were serving for the match? Were you calmer this time?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: It was different, because yesterday it was really the first time I met something like that, you know. For me it was unbelievable. Today I said, Okay, yesterday I did it, so today it's going to be the same.

Q. Were you expecting a different reaction from Nadal on court? I mean, you were surprised by yourself, but were you also surprised by the fact that he wasn't...
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: No, I was just surprised about my game. Rafael play the same tennis all the time. His level is very high and it's very difficult to play against him. But today, for me, everything was in, so what can I say about it?

Q. Why do you think you haven't produced tennis anywhere near this level up until really now?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Because, like I said before, my body was not ready. And now maybe with the work and everything is more ready for that, because it's difficult to move, to hit very hard, and everything.

Q. Because you've never been this far in a major tournament, is it challenging trying to plan out what you do between now and Sunday's final?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: No, no, no. I don't think so. I will do everything for you and then I will take some rest and do the same thing as before.
So, no, it's not -- it will be okay because I play three sets, so I don't need like four days for rest. It's okay. I'm all right.

Q. How are you going to spend the next two days? What will you be doing?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: I will do press tonight; tomorrow rest; little bit press after tomorrow; and that's it. I will play every day one hour. I will make some train, training. That's it.

Q. How important was the crowd tonight?
Yes, it was very important, because I like that when there is a lot of people like this. They give me lot of energy.

Q. If you play this well again on Sunday night, do you think either Federer or Djokovic can beat you?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: I don't know. But I will do my best on the court, so I know it's going to be difficult to beat me.

Q. Do you think you played at such a high level the last couple of days, particularly tonight, that your nerves in a sense haven't really been tested in a really tight situation because you played too well to get into that situation?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Yes, I don't know, but the first one was not very easy for me. I play against Andy and it was very tough, so I don't know. I will see, but now I'm in final, and, okay, if I win in three sets, I don't need the... (laughter).
If I win in three sets it's perfect. If it's four sets, we will see. If it's five, maybe it's going to be the same. Maybe I will lose; maybe I will win. I don't know.
But now I'm in final and I can win, like I don't know. We are both on the court, so one is the winner.

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