Fan Favourite Jo-Wilfred Tsonga has announced he will retire from tennis at Roland Garros.
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga will retire at French Open
The former World $5 announced today on social media that he will be retiring from the sport he loves. The Frenchman wants to go out on his terms, before a doctor or physio tells him he needs to stop. Tsonga has struggled with injury since the 2018 season. Hamstring and knee were the problems the Frenchman had to cope with that season. Surgery followed which curtailed the play.
The following season Tsonga started on the comeback trail. The Frenchman started with a semi final appearance at the Brisbane Open. Tsonga followed this up with a second round at the Australian Open, he was defeated by the world number one Novak Djokovic.
The Frenchman won his 17th ATP title at the Open Sud de France. He had entered on a wildcard and progressed to the final, defeating compatriot Pierre-Hugues Herbert. The following week Tsonga made the quarterfinal in Rotterdam. At Wimbledon and Washington the Frenchman made the third round. However, in September Tsonga claimed his second title of the year, his 18th ATP title, at the Moselle Open. Tsonga’s last event of the 2019 season was at the Paris masters. Again given a wild card, the Frenchman made the quarter final before losing to Rafael Nadal.
2020 Worldwide pandemic
The Frenchman was inactive for most of the 2020 season. COVID-19 had shut tennis down in March, but it returned in August, however Tsonga did not. On his return in 2021 the Frenchman did not have good results. Suffering an arm injury that once again curtailed his season. Tsonga only won one match of the nine he played.
Tsonga admitted that the decision has been a long time coming. For the last few seasons the Frenchman has often thought “What am I doing? Why am I hurting myself like this? Is there still a reason for me to make all this effort?” Although enjoying the sport and his mind telling him he can play for ever, Tsonga acknowledged that his body is getting tired.
Tsonga announced the decision in an intimate video, alongside his wife. The Frenchman said “The ultimate reason is to tell myself that this is the last thrill. In 2024, I won’t be playing anymore and for a few weeks now, I’ve decided that I’ll stop playing tennis at French Open.”
Picking his home Grand Slam as the last hoorah is a wise decision. Many players have done this in the past. target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”Lleyton Hewitt opted to retire from singles at the Australian Open in 2016. Andy Murray announced he would retire at Wimbledon in 2019, although the Brit then went through resurfacing surgery, and is trying to make his comeback. Even teaming back up with Ivan Lendl, in the effort to have one last crack at another Wimbledon title.
David Ferrer also retired at a home tournament. As there are no grand slams in Spain, the Spaniard chose to hang up his racquet at the Mutua Madrid Open. Tsonga will be a loss to the tour. However, as the Frenchman stated in his video, he wants to retire on his terms and not be forced out of the sport he still loves.
Main Photo from Getty.