US Open 2008 : The Come Back [Archive] -

US Open 2008 : The Come Back

08-18-2008, 07:39 PM
There is less than a week now from the second slam of the season for Jo.

Just a reminder :

Tournaments of preparation : None

Days of training : 14 days at best

Physical Shape : Unknown

So make your gamble :cool:

I shall say that a second or third round appearance would already be a great satisfaction. :)

08-18-2008, 07:44 PM
I agree, hopefully we can expect him to go deep(er) in Madrid and Paris

08-19-2008, 08:00 AM
The major hurdle will be the first round match. Obviously, he's had very little preparation and will be quite rusty, as training is a far cry from actual competitive matches. Furthermore, he has to test his knee and not take too many risks, therefore restricting his movement initially. I guess he's going to have to rely on his big serves and try to finish points quickly, which is a do-or-die strategy.

Luckily, he's seeded - it's amazing that he's still in top 20 after such a long injury lay-off! Hope he has a "beatable" opponent in first round so that he can build up his confidence and form and progress deeper.

Just to see him back on the courts again is great for me. I will celebrate every win and commend him for his effort if he loses. All the best of luck, Tsonga! Take a bite of the Big Apple.

08-19-2008, 08:25 AM
Benoît is back!
Back in style, I love your little reminder. :lol:

I'll just add that when he finally resumed the training 2 weeks ago, his team said he's only allowed to play twice 30 minutes a day and to add 10 minutes every 4 days. Still a long way to go since he needs to be able to play at least 2-3 hours in a row by the time the USO starts...
And according to an old interview of Wino, he was also supposed to start practicing on clay because it's much less stressful on the knee.

So there's a BIG question mark about his preparation for 5 sets matches on hardcourt, to say the least.

Is anybody here going to the USO, by any chance?

08-19-2008, 08:41 AM
There is less than a week now from the second slam of the season for Jo.

Just a reminder :

Tournaments of preparation : None

Days of training : 14 days at best

Physical Shape : Unknown

So make your gamble :cool:

I shall say that a second or third round appearance would already be a great satisfaction. :)

As long as the knee is ok, any result will do for me ;)

08-19-2008, 09:12 AM
I hope he is OK, and if he wins 2 rounds or 1 its OK, I only want to see him again :D

08-19-2008, 10:31 AM
i cross the fingers for him too

08-19-2008, 10:21 PM
Good luck. As long as he comes out of the tournament unscathed I will be happy. A win or two will be a plus.

08-19-2008, 11:27 PM
Where's the offical note that he's definitely gonna enter?

08-20-2008, 07:01 AM
He can still pull out in last minute if he has problems during his last week of training, of course.
But he's training in NYC and definitely wants to play so far.

08-20-2008, 07:02 AM
Here is for example the official website of the FFT (Jo is at the FFT, so they're quite reliable for this kind of informations):

08-20-2008, 06:59 PM
Just want him to take it slow. This will be the first match play he's had in a while, so I have no expectations whatsoever.

08-21-2008, 03:58 PM
ummmmmmmm,I believe that Jo could have a good seed.
I'm very very excited to see him,I can't wait that!!

08-21-2008, 06:29 PM
Jo is facing Santiago Ventura in the 1st round

08-21-2008, 11:12 PM
:shrug: It depends on Jo's knee. Could have gotten a much tougher first round opponent though, so that's nice.

08-21-2008, 11:20 PM
Could win and go very far in this tournament if he is healthy. Otherwise he will be out after one or two rounds!

08-22-2008, 12:19 AM
Kind first round draw, just hope his body is fine now. Best of luck Jo.

08-22-2008, 04:08 AM
Good luck Jo!

08-22-2008, 07:44 AM
Good luck Jojo :D

08-22-2008, 01:54 PM
Anyway the draw is not bad ,com'on my boy!Gooooood luck

08-23-2008, 03:05 AM
I saw Jo practice today in the grand stand, I have some pictures I'll post tomorrow.

He looked great, he was a little rusty but for the most part he was hitting the ball very cleanly and moving very well. His serve was :tape: though.

08-23-2008, 06:48 AM
Allez Tsonga. Great to see him recovered. I hope he can stay healthy for the rest of the year and get some big results. It's a good time for him to come back as there aren't many in-form players out there.

08-23-2008, 10:19 AM
I saw Jo practice today in the grand stand, I have some pictures I'll post tomorrow.

He looked great, he was a little rusty but for the most part he was hitting the ball very cleanly and moving very well. His serve was :tape: though.

yay, great, we're looking forward for your pics then, thanks :worship:
I hope the serve will be ok in matches

08-23-2008, 08:39 PM
Video of JWT practicing with Fabrice Santoro at the 2008 US Open

08-23-2008, 09:48 PM
Video of JWT practicing with Fabrice Santoro at the 2008 US Open

08-26-2008, 08:27 PM
Jo should play tomorrow on the Grandstand around 12H30 local time (18H30 french time).

Allez mon grand :boxing:

08-26-2008, 11:49 PM
Good luck Jojo!


08-27-2008, 05:45 AM
Video of JWT practicing with Fabrice Santoro at the 2008 US Open

Not a bad 1st post. Thanks.

08-27-2008, 07:34 PM
:clap2:A win:clap2: Welcome back Jo! Stay healthy and get some match play.

08-27-2008, 07:36 PM
he wins his first round yeahhh:woohoo:

08-27-2008, 08:36 PM

well done :yeah:

08-27-2008, 09:52 PM
His interview in English is hilarious, he doesn't understand half of the questions, can hardly say anything. :lol: "Sorry?" "Sorry?" It doesn't sound like he practiced his English a lot during the break.

I rather recommend his audio interview if you speak French. It's great to hear him again, he has such a cheerful voice!
But he doesn't talk about his knee in that interview, just says that he was very impatient to play, so it was not easy to wait until Wednesday, but maybe it wasn't a bad thing for his knee.
He knew he wasn't going to play great tennis and it helped him to keep his focus even after having lost the 1st set.
He sounds like he really likes Moya a lot and is very excited to play him (again, since he already beat him in Beijing in 2004).

And I like the part when he says "Ask me again after the 2nd round and I can tell you then if I'm going to make it to the final" (or something like that). The journalist: "Oh, you will be able to tell us after the 2nd round already ?" Jo: "Well, I'll have some more clues by then. Maybe I'll be already out of the tournament so I'll know I won't make it."
(It's probably not funny in my translation, but it is very cute when he says it.)

08-27-2008, 10:48 PM
jojo :lol:

08-27-2008, 11:53 PM
:woohoo: A win and his knee looks good. USA only showed about half of the first set. He looks to be moving fairly well. Glad he picked it up even more.

08-28-2008, 01:30 AM
A nice win~~
keep going jojo!

08-28-2008, 04:15 AM
It's hard to comment, but it was a good come back match from Jo.

I will just say that his forehand was still far from being perfect (many of his UEs were coming from his forehand), but his backhand was strangely really good : accurate and powerful. The other part of his game are still under construction (his volleys in particular : he can do much better).

I also thought that the fear of injuring his knee again had disappeared throughout the match, but that little sentence about it in his english interview is worrying me. I will wait l'équipe of today to make everything clear. His french interview from the FFT doesn't tell a word about it, but l'équipe site make him say that he is still a little worried about it. Just hope that it's nothing :sad: .

But I certainly need to say that I am quite surprised about his performance :worship: . I remember the come-back from injury of may during the clay season and he was struggling much more. Now he has a good draw with frightening opponent but he has what it takes to level up himself for each one of them. We'll see. :cool:

08-28-2008, 04:56 AM
Well done Jo! No thanks to ESPN :mad: , I only saw a little of the first set and glimpses of the other 3 sets, but I'm just so happy that he made it. I was impressed and very pleasantly surprised at the way he put the loss of the first set behind him and strode on to a comfortable victory. Saw a couple of sublime volleys & nice forehands; the errors are bound to happen as he's still rusty from lack of match practice and as long as his knee behaves, he can only just get better. I admit I was worried about his movement from what I saw of the first set and prayed that his knee would last in the match. I hope we'll soon get confirmation that he is fine - if not, then obviously his health is the most important. He's already exceeded my expectations in this first round - which was the toughest test he had to face - so anything else is really a bonus.

I'm so proud of you Jo! :hug: Good luck! Hope I will see more of you at least in the next round.

08-28-2008, 06:35 AM
Here's his interview in L'Equipe today:
«Des émotions, des images… »
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA était remué par son retour victorieux après son opération au genou.

« APRÈS LA BALLE de match, on vous a senti ému. Vous avez renoué avec la danse des pouces de la Rod Laver Arena et vous avez même regardé le ciel en murmurant quelque chose. À quoi pensiez-vous ?
– À tout un tas de choses. Je revoyais tout ce par quoi je suis passé depuis l’opération de mon genou il y a trois mois. J’ai revu d’un coup défiler des émotions, des images… C’était très fort. J’ai repensé à tout ce boulot de l’ombre pour reconstruire mon genou. Pendant ces trois mois, ça n’a pas été rigolo tous les jours. Y a des fois où je n’avais plus la gnac mais j’allais quand même au boulot. Et puis, j’ai pensé à autre chose parce qu’avant d’être joueur de tennis je suis un être humain.
- C’est-à-dire ?
– J’ai énormément pensé à ma meilleure amie, Jade, qui a eu un accident. Je lui dédie cette victoire.
– Vous avez paru très en dedans pendant le premier set. Un peu lent, ne prenant pas toujours les bonnes décisions. Avez-vous eu peur que ce match vous échappe ?
– Non, jamais. Et vous savez pourquoi ? Parce que je savais que je ne jouerais pas mon meilleur tennis. Finalement, savoir cela m’a empêché de paniquer après la perte de ce premier set. C’est limite si, avant d’entrer sur le court, je ne savais pas que j’allais perdre le premier set. Comme si je connaissais le scénario. Franchement, j’étais serein.
– Que vous êtes-vous dit après ce tie-break perdu ?
– O.K., je l’ai perdu mais maintenant ça va commencer. (Rire)
« Ce qui dominait, c’était l’excitation »
– Avez-vous eu peur pour votre genou pendant ce match ?
– Forcément, j’y ai pensé. Forcément, j’avais inconsciemment peur d’un mauvais appui ou d’une glissade mais pas plus que ça. Je n’étais pas en train d’ausculter mon genou toutes les deux secondes. Dans ma tête, il est guéri. Ce qui dominait, c’était l’excitation. J’avais une p…d’envie d’aller sur le terrain et de courir. Ça m’avait trop manqué, tout ça.
– Pourquoi avez-vous eu du mal au début ?
– J’étais un peu mou. Pourtant, je n’avais pas le trac dans le vestiaire. J’ai suivi la même routine que d’habitude. Mais voilà, je reprenais le boulot, quoi ! Ce n’est pas la même chose que de s’entraîner. À l’entraînement, tout est naturel, facile. Mais en match, tu réfléchis et tout devient plus dur.
– Comment jugez-vous votre niveau du moment par rapport à l’Open d’Australie ?
– J’en suis loin.
– Donc, vous n’allez pas nous refaire le coup de Melbourne ?
– Déjà, je suis au deuxième tour contre Carlos Moya. Après ce match, je pourrai vous dire si je vais aller en finale ici. Par exemple, si je perds, je vous dirai que cette fois je n’irai pas en finale (Rire).
– Il y a ici votre papa et votre maman qui n’étaient jamais venus aux États-Unis. Il y a aussi votre premier entraîneur et le meilleur ami de votre père que vous considérez comme un membre de la famille. Ils se sont baptisés la “ Rillette Connection ”, en référence au Mans. Aviez-vous besoin de tout ce soutien ?
– Oui, oui, oui… Et plus ça va, plus je sens que j’ai besoin d’avoir près de moi les gens que j’aime. Ils me stabilisent. »

I don’t have time for a proper translation, sorry. He says how moving it was to be back, how tough it's been too during the rehab, etc. Hence the emotional celebration at the end.
He never was afraid to lose. He almost knew before entering the court that he was going to lose the first set and he just thought then : "OK, now let’s begin."
He was thinking of his knee, of course, always fearing a bad move, but not too much. He wasn’t thinking of it every 2 seconds either. In his mind, the knee is fine now.
He’s far from his level of the AO.
The "rillette connection" :lol: is together with him in NY (his parents, his first trainer, the best friend of the family). ("Rillette" is a speciality of Le Mans, his home town).

(À compléter!)

08-28-2008, 06:38 AM
And a few statements of Wino:
Soulagé, son entraîneur Éric Winogradsky appréciait lui aussi à sa juste valeur cette petite victoire de rien du tout qui en valait une grande : « Il nous aurait fallu au moins une dizaine de jours de plus pour monter en régime. Pour une reprise après trois mois d’inactivité et une préparation précipitée, je trouve que Jo a bien géré la situation. Il n’a pu reprendre la raquette que le 2 août, et encore, à raison de deux fois une demi-heure par jour. Il n’a reçu le feu vert pour se livrer à fond que mardi dernier. Donc, il avait en tout et pour tout deux sets d’entraînement dans les jambes. » (...)
« Au début, Jo n’est pas parti sur un bon rythme ; il n’a pas su s’appuyer sur ses points forts, comme sa frappe au service, constatait Winogradsky. Il lui a fallu du temps pour retrouver l’oeil, pour se libérer. Comme il n’avait pas encore pu se tester, il restait pas mal d’appréhension. Et puis, il a peut-être voulu gérer car on avait des doutes sur la distance. » (...)
« Ce que j’apprécie, c’est que Jo a su gérer correctement la situation, se satisfaisait Winogradsky. Avant le match, je lui avais dit qu’il ressentirait plus de frustration qu’autre chose et qu’il faudrait l’accepter pour arriver à faire le job. C’est bien. Ce qui est fort chez lui, c’est qu’il a l’envie… Non, pas l’envie : il a le “ truc ” pour aller chercher la victoire. » Ce « truc » sera encore bien utile au tour suivant contre Carlos Moya, mais il ne suffira pas : « Il faudra jouer bien mieux qu’aujourd’hui, constatait Winogradsky, mais l’essentiel n’est pas là. L’essentiel, c’est que le genou ne gonfle pas. » La tête, elle, ne risque rien.
He’s relieved and means they would have needed 10 more days of practice. So Jo did a good job under these conditions. He started training on the 2nd of August and just for twice 30 minutes a day at the beginning. He was allowed to practice at full power on last Tuesday only. Which means he had 2 sets of training only "in the legs".
He needed time to get the recover the automatic reflexes in the match yesterday, was anxious since he hadn’t been able to really test himself yet. And he was cautious too because they were not sure he would be able to play a full 5 sets match.
So he managed the situation pretty well, all in all. Wino had told him before the match it would be frustrating and that he had to accept it.
He’ll need to play much better against Moya. But that’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is that the knee doesn’t swell.
The author adds: no risk the head will.

08-28-2008, 08:52 AM
Thanks so much Truc for the articles. I'm taking the liberty of translating the first L'Equipe article - there are errors in translation at parts (*), so please feel free to correct me:

JO-WILFRIED TSONGA was moved by his victorious comeback after his knee surgery.

Q: After match point, you appeared emotional. You re-enacted your “dance of the thumbs” of the Rod Laver Arena and you also looked up at the sky murmuring something. What were you thinking of?

JWT: About a lot of things. I thought back over all I’ve been through since the knee surgery three months ago. I felt overwhelmed by the emotions, images. I recalled all the work behind the scenes to rebuild my knee. During these three months, it wasn’t all fun every day. There were times when I didn’t have the will but I went to work nonetheless. And then, I thought of other things because over and above being a tennis player, I am a human being.

Q: Which means?

JWT: I thought mostly about my best friend, Jade, who had an accident. I dedicate this victory to her.

Q: You appeared to be withdrawn in the first set. A bit slow, not always taking the right decisions. Were you afraid that you would lose this match?

JWT: No, never. And do you know why? Because I knew that I would not play my best tennis. In the end, knowing that prevented me from panicking after the loss of the first set. I almost already knew, before coming on court, that I would lose the first set. As if I knew the scenario. Frankly, I was calm.

Q: What did you tell yourself after this lost tie-break?

JWT: OK, I lost it but now let’s begin. (laughter)

“ What dominated was the excitement.”

Q: Were you worried about your knee during the match?

JWT: I can't really avoid thinking about that. Subconsciously, I was afraid of a bad move or a slip but not more than that. But I wasn’t thinking about my knee every two seconds. In my mind, it was healed. What dominated, was the excitement. I just had this desire to go on the court and run. I had missed all this too much.

Q: Why did you have trouble at first?

JWT: I felt a bit sluggish. Yet, I wasn’t nervous in the locker room. I followed the same routine as always. But hey, I’ve just resumed work, after all! It’s not the same as training. In training, everything is natural, easy. But in a real match, you think and everything becomes harder.

Q: How would you judge your current level compared to that at the Australian Open?

JWT: I’m far from that.

Q: Hence, you’re not going to repeat your Melbourne success?

JWT: Already, I’m in the second round against Carlos Moya. After this match, I will be able to tell you if I will reach the final here. For example, if I lose, I will tell you that this time I will not make it to the final (laughter).

Q: Your father and mother, who have never been to the United States, are here. There’s also your first coach and the best friend of your father whom you consider as a family member. They have been baptised the “Rillette Connection”, with reference to Mans. Do you need all this support?

JWT: Yes, yes, yes… And the more it goes, the more I feel I need close to me the people I love. They give me stability.

08-28-2008, 09:49 AM
Wow, thanks a lot, it's great!

"C'est limite si" is an expression, it means "almost", "but close" (he almost already knew, when he stepped onto the court, that he would lose the first set. As if he had already read the script.)

"mou" means a bit sluggish or something like that.

08-28-2008, 10:27 AM
Wow, thanks a lot, it's great!

"C'est limite si" is an expression, it means "almost", "but close" (he almost already knew, when he stepped onto the court, that he would lose the first set. As if he had already read the script.)

"mou" means a bit sluggish or something like that.

Thank you for the feedback! I'll edit accordingly. Expect more awkward translations from me, but it's good practice for me. :)

08-28-2008, 11:05 AM
Thanks a lot, Truc, for providing us l'équipe, and Turquoise, for your translation ;)

So we didn't learn anything really new about the knee, wich is certainly good news. :)

The next match against Moya will set the level of expectations we can have currently for him. If he can beat him convincigly, he could have a shot to an encounter with Djoko in the fourth round. Even if as of now, it's already great for a come-back. :cool:

08-28-2008, 12:51 PM
So we didn't learn anything really new about the knee, wich is certainly good news. :)It still seems to be an issue, though, even if Jojo says the knee is healed in his mind. When Wino says the most important thing is the knee doesn't swell again, for example... I didn't find that part very reassuring.
But the rest is, he definitely sounds in good spirits in his audio interview.

Here's also a video of his interview (don't worry if you don't understand the journalist, it's not because YOUR French is bad!):
Jo says his knee isn't hurting after the match.

08-28-2008, 03:00 PM
Here's also a video of his interview (don't worry if you don't understand the journalist, it's not because YOUR French is bad, the journalist is terrible!):
Jo says his knee isn't hurting after the match.

:haha: :haha: :haha: Des barres.

Where The hell does this journalist come from ?

It's almost funnier to think that Jo seemed absolutely unable to understand some question in english yesterday and can seize here the meaning of each of his questions with ease :lol:

For the knee, they obviously want to keep it under close watch, which is normal. We'll see (again).

08-28-2008, 11:59 PM
Good luck tomorrow!



08-30-2008, 03:14 AM
And he wins in FOUR!!!! Yes, anything after this is icing!!!!

08-30-2008, 03:17 AM
Wonderful win!!
He looks very enjoyed the match!!!
That's very important

08-30-2008, 09:23 AM
Great win Jo :woohoo: He has already exceeded my expectations here.

08-30-2008, 10:02 AM

08-30-2008, 10:48 AM
excellent :banana:


08-30-2008, 12:49 PM
I'm filled with awe. :worship: This is simply incredible, coming back from injury with no preparation... and we can see how badly he's missed tennis, just as much as we missed him. He's got so much heart, and I'm proud of what he's achieved so far. I'm afraid to hold my breath about the next match against Robredo. I just want him to enjoy every moment of this US Open experience and see where it takes him. Congratulations Jo, and welcome back!

08-30-2008, 05:19 PM
I'm late but still, well done Jo:banana::banana:

08-30-2008, 07:15 PM
Amazing! I was just hoping for one win, getting two is incredible after being out so long. :banana:

08-30-2008, 10:35 PM
Whooo hooo, so happy!!! Tomorrow will be another test. Come on Tsonga!!!

08-31-2008, 11:23 PM
Jo 6-7 2-6 1-3


08-31-2008, 11:29 PM
Robredo's beating Jo :mad:


08-31-2008, 11:50 PM
:sobbing: :sad: :crying2:

09-01-2008, 01:22 AM
:sad: :awww:

so sad :sad:

09-01-2008, 02:09 AM
Awww. I was hoping he would pull out another win, but it was a great tournament to come back with.

09-01-2008, 04:54 AM
Sad for Jo, but he's done a fantastic job getting this far. He surpassed expectations, yet a lot of people expected more. Give him more time to prepare & get match-fit, and he'll become a big threat at the Madrid and Paris AMS.

Always proud of the big man. By the way, he defended his 75 points of last year, so he's overall he's lost nothing.

09-01-2008, 10:05 AM
:sad: Too bad, Jo.

We clearly aren't used to see him make 60+ UEs. It was mostly a problem of rythm, his movement were off and he couldn't place himself well onto the ball. Congrats to Robredo for exploiting this at maximum by giving him many balls directly on his body or off rythm.

Well, as Turquoise said, it was already a great come back to win two match back to back after a three month injury and a little less than two weeks of training. :) We weren't sure before if it was a good idea to rush his come back, even it was for a grand slam, but I think it turns out pretty well and it will give him some confidence for the rest of the year. On the FFT site, he didn't seem really disappointed and he even said that he could have been sent home since the first round if he was faced to a better opponent than Ventura, like Moya or Haas.

Now it's time for you to win your first title on clay at Bucarest. :devil:

09-01-2008, 11:20 AM
It's been a good comeback for Jo (with hardly any preparation). He can be happy with the result :D

Now stay injury free :yeah:

09-01-2008, 11:30 AM
All in all, a good comeback for Jo :yeah: Now please just let him stay fit.