The French tennis player leaves at almost 37, from number 220 in the world. In his career Jo managed to beat the Big-3 when they were in first place in the ranking
A few months after Juan Martin del Potro’s farewell to tennis, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will greet in the same way: on clay in the home tournament. For the Argentine it was Buenos Aires, for the French it will be Roland Garros, in Paris. The former number 5 in the world has decided to say enough: “It is with great emotion that I announce the decision to end my professional career at the next Roland Garros. There have been so many incredible moments and so many joys shared with an audience that has me given so much. I hope to have fun with you one last time “, the words of the Le Mans tennis player.
Tsonga leaves with a plummeted ranking, with the current 220th place in the ATP ranking. The 36-year-old (he will turn 37 on April 17) has only won one match in 2021 – in the first round in Marseille against Feliciano Lopez – and is two wins this year. Jo’s decision has matured over time and has been weighted: even before the pandemic the Frenchman had difficulty traveling by plane due to sickle cell anemia, the last two years have definitively removed Tsonga from the top of world tennis. Sixteen months without success for him, from November 2019 in the Davis Cup against Uchiyama to March 2021, precisely against Feliciano Lopez in Marseille.
Against the Big 3
Tsonga has fallen in the standings and has probably lost the motivation to move forward. An unavoidable choice for a player who has always given everything and who, if in condition, could beat anyone. It happened against the Big-3, demonstrating the attempt – the same goes for Del Potro – to try to speak out about him in the era of legends. Tsonga has won three career games against a tennis player number 1 in the world: in Canada against Federer in 2009, at Queen’s against Nadal in 2011, also in Canada in 2014 against Djokovic (then came the victory in the final against Roger, then number 3) . He managed to beat all three of them when they were at the top.
In the Slams
Tsonga’s regret is not having won a Grand Slam. Who knows, in another era he would have made it. In 2008 the first – and only – great chance, with the final at the Australian Open from number 38 in the world against Novak Djokovic after beating Nadal in three sets in the semifinals: it was the first Major won by the Serbian, in four sets. Jo will then stop five times in the semifinals, the most recent in 2015 at Roland Garros against Stan Wawrinka. He epic victory over Federer in the 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finals, with a comeback from a two-set to zero. Tsonga leaves tennis and will be remembered for being among humans in the age of the Martians. But he did not stand by and watch: even if often with little continuity, he managed to look them in the eye and not from below.
April 7, 2022 (change April 7, 2022 | 12:30)
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