Wednesday, September 27, 2023
HomeTennisTears before match point: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ends his career

Tears before match point: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ends his career

In front of his home crowd, the popular Frenchman was allowed to say goodbye to the big tennis stage. After his match, many of his companions gathered on the centre court once again.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga thundered his hard serves onto the red clay and brought cheers to the packed Court Philippe Chatrier with his whipping forehand. The 37-year-old from Le Mans thrilled his hot-blooded fans once more at the French Open – then his long and successful career came to an end. Tears welled up in his eyes even before match point.

The 7:6 (8:6), 6:7 (4:7), 2:6, 6:7 (0:7) first round defeat to Norwegian Casper Ruud marked the end for Tsonga. “Both my head and my body told me it was time to quit,” the former world number five said ahead of his 13th start at his home Grand Slam.

After the match, Tsonga was honoured on the red clay for his outstanding career. Many of his companions such as Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon or Richard Gasquet came onto the court to say “Au revoir” to him. Messages of greeting from Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer were played via video.

Olympic silver, Davis Cup win, 18 tour titles

Tsonga has 18 tournament wins to his name. He won doubles silver at the 2012 Olympics and is also the Frenchman with the most wins at major level (121) ahead of Gael Monfils (118). In 2017, he helped his country win the Davis Cup. He spent a total of 260 weeks in the top 10 of the world rankings.

At Grand Slam level, Tsonga reached five semi-finals and even the final at the Australian Open in 2008. He was denied the crowning glory. Possibly also because the powerful athlete was repeatedly set back by injuries.



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