To be completely honest, I know nothing about tennis, let alone the matches leading up to appearing at the U.S. Open. But when its the start is just a few days away, you can’t help take notice of the who’s who of tennis 2014. It’s like living in Brazil during the World Cup and pretending one of the most globally watched events wasn’t just happening in your backyard.

Wednesday night, at the chic WestHouse Hotel, we sat down with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, aka “The Man to Watch.” This 6’2” France native mingled with guests all evening long, always smiling, stopping to chat and taking photographs with whomever asked. Even during our interview he apologized for his English saying, “If I don’t know it in English, I’ll tell you in French.” Slightly surreal to be in the presence of such humility knowing he beat out Roger Federer a couple weeks back at the Rogers Cup, in Toronto, taking home his second Masters 1000 title; adding an undeniable appeal leading up to the Open.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga,                                                                                                                                                                                             Photo Courtesy of Getty Images for AYS



Tennis, how did that happen?
I started tennis when I was kid and didn’t expect to be at this level, but it’s been a great experience for me. It lets me travel a lot, see different cultures, learn different languages and visit beautiful places like New York.

What is your favorite place so far?
My favorite place… I can’t say I have a favorite place. They are all different and have their own special charm.

Tell us about your personal style.
I like everything to be honest. I’m very eclectic. I’m an eclectic person. [laughs] My father is black and mother is white so I’ve always been interested in a mix of everything.

What sports, besides tennis, can we find you watching?
Besides tennis, I watch soccer, basketball, et athlétisme – comment dit-on en englais? Oui, track and field.