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  • Tsonga puts chance of French success low

    5/27/12 7:13 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Tsonga puts chance of French success low For national No. 1 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a home men's title at the French Open is almost impossible, given the fact that only one Frenchman has done it since the 1940s.

    "At the moment, no one would place a bet on one of us (French) winning a tournament, a Grand Slam tournament," said the 2008 Australian Open finalist and fifth seed, who has never been past the fourth round in four Roland Garros appearances.

    Tsonga began his campaign to change local history as he faced Russian Andrey Kuznetsov at an event where a possible seventh title from Rafael Nadal or a fourth major in a row from Novak Djokovic are the top picks.

    The last French success at home came through Yannick Noah in 1983, which occurred nearly 40 years after the previous French titles in the 1940s. Marcel Bernard won the men's trophy in 1946, the ninth win by a Frenchman in 16 tournaments after the event went international. Noah is the only French winner of a major in the Open era.

    "Each time I sign for a tournament, the objective is to go all the way," said Tsonga. "But we have never won any Grand Slam (besides Noah in the post-1968 era), whatever the surface.

    "We can't claim that we are going to win it. Maybe we're capable of winning it, but we can't say, 'I'm going to win'. I can't walk in Roland Garros and say, I'm going to win. I can say I have the capacities. I'm going to do everything I can. But I can't say, I'm gonna win."


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