ONE of the chirpiest characters on the ATP Tour, France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was in Doha last week for the first time since he won the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in 2012. The 31-year-old was a big crowd puller at the centre court where he enacted his trademark leaping victory dance and also at the ExxonMobil booth where he obliged autograph hunters and posed for selfies. Nicknamed Ali for his facial resemblance to the legendary boxer, Tsonga spoke about his varied interests.
How was it coming back to Doha after four years?
I was really happy to be back. I always get good welcome here. It’s a great place to play tennis. The court is good. Everything is in order.
Tell us something about your charity work..
It was launched in Congo, which is like my second home, to help underprivileged children. I really take to heart helping them. It’s aimed at developing not only their sports talents, but also general life skills.
You seem to be a music buff..
Yeah, I was there for the Coldplay concert in Abu Dhabi. It was good fun to celebrate the New Year’s eve like this.