Wimbledon 2012: 5 Reasons Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Will Win It All
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is quite a physical specimen. At 6'2" and 200 pounds, the Frenchman looks like a middle linebacker and plays like it on the court.
However, not only is he ultra talented, but he is a little quirky and plays the game in his own special way.
Every time you watch Tsonga, you're amazed by the loose style that he attacks with—something that is admirable in this day and age, when tennis is shifting towards a baseline game.
It might sound a little radical to most traditional tennis fans, but I believe Tsonga can use his athleticism, loose demeanor and rocket serve to raise the trophy at the All England Club.
Here are five reasons why Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will take home the Wimbledon title.
Who Needs a Coach?
Last April, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga parted ways with coach Eric Winogradsky. The Frenchman wanted to play more freely and spontaneously instead of adopting the percent-oriented approach that Winogradsky favored.
Tsonga went on to reach the semfinals of Wimbledon and lost to the No. 1 seed, Novak Djokovic, after holding two match points.
He looked pretty relaxed and confident to me, and ever since April, Tsonga has transformed himself into a true force to be reckoned with.
Tsonga, now No. 6 in the world, has the freedom and ability to go out swinging and fire every strong forehand and over-head volley that he wants.
Given the stress and high intensity of a tournament like Wimbledon, playing with freedom and confidence will tremendously help Tsonga play his best in the coming days.
Tsonga Serve Is Stout
An underrated part of Tsonga's game is his ability to mix it up with his serve.
The Frenchman has one of the most dominant serves in the game, mixing slice and speed to serve up a spinning 135 miles per hour rocket.
Tsonga's serve is one of the reasons that he is very tough to break. He will need to continue this serving barrage as he advances at Wimbledon.
His high first-serve percentage allows him to play loose and take risks, which is a style that he favors.
The Tsonga serve is a weapon, especially on the grass at Wimbledon. As each match progresses, he also likes to mix in an overhand volley serve on first serve to keep his opponent off-balance.
Style of Play
Tsonga is attempting to revolutionize the game by not only abandoning a coach, but by aggressively charging the net to win points.
Tennis, in its present state, is played behind the baseline with lots of long rallies that result in backhand flicks and forehand strikes.
Instead of playing a game of cat-and-mouse behind the baseline, Tsonga comes charging to the net in an attempt to finish points quick and early. He loves to use his backhand when charging the net and usually is very effective at putting opponents away with his shot.
When Tsonga attacks the net, he also likes to use a forehand volley which works marvelously and adds another dimension to the Frenchman's game.
Tsonga not only has size and skill, but a great sense of touch, which is demonstrated by his ability to charge and win points at the net on a regular basis.
This combination of size and finesse makes Tsonga a legitimate contender to win Wimbledon in 2012.
Look at the Draw
After Rafael Nadal's loss in the second round, the bottom half of the bracket has opened up for the Frenchman.
Who are Tsonga's next possible opponents in the semifinals?
Andy Murray or David Ferrer.
Tsonga crushed Ferrer in the fourth round of Wimbledon last year in three sets (6-3, 6-4, 7-6). He has only beaten Murray twice, but the amount of pressure Murray would face on centre court would be overwhelming.
Meanwhile, if Tsonga can stay loose and relaxed like he has recently shown, he could give Murray lots of trouble in London.
Tsonga's aggressive style of play, combined with no more Nadal in his side of the bracket, makes him a huge contender to reach the Wimbledon final.
Tsonga Has Won Big Matches Before
Looking down and out last year in the quarterfinals, Tsonga went on an epic run to defeat Roger Federer in five sets.
Federer led 6-3, 7-6 heading into the third set. At the time, he had a record of 166-0 when leading by two sets, which made Tsonga's victory all the more improbable.
The Frenchman's eventual triumph spoke to his fortitude and mental strength to focus on winning the match and forget the overwhelming odds stacked against him.
Tsonga won the match by finishing the final three sets 6-4 to advance to his first Wimbledon semifinal. He was able to use his physicality and strong serve to slowly but steadily dominate the serve and break Federer, coming back to win against a top-three opponent.
Watch out, tennis world. Tsonga will not go down easily this year and is on his way to winning the 2012 Wimbledon crown.
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