Tennis: Tsonga Appoints New Coaches

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French tennis star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has appointed the duo of Thierry Ascione and Nicolas Escude as his new coaches.

Tsonga has appointed former world number 17 Escude and former top 100 player Ascione, in an attempt to emulate the recent success of compatriot, Richard Gasquet who has risen to French number one after including two men in his coaching set-up.

“We have begun this project at my suggestion and I am really pleased to begin a new phase of my career with them both,” Tsonga said in Bercy, where he is taking part in the Paris Masters.

“I’ve been looking for the ideal situation for some time, and I feel best with them.”

Ascione has developed a strong coaching reputation due to his work with Kristina Mladenovic and Nicholas Mahut, while Escude has a long-standing rapport with the 28-year-old former world number five being his former Davis Cup team-mate.

Ascione will not be able to accompany Tsonga to all his events because of other commitments, which is where Escude steps in.

Having reached but lost the 2008 Australian Open final, Escude is targeting a maiden Grand Slam title for Tsonga, but says success will be measured by Tsonga’s world ranking.

“Of course we will go for all four (Slams), but the important thing for us is to see a rapid movement up the rankings,” Escude said.

“If, after one year, he is still at the same place, we will not have succeeded in our mission.”

World number 10, Tsonga parted ways with former coach, Roger Rasheed at the end of August and has since then been without a coach.

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