Jo-Wilfried Tsonga announces retirement after Roland-Garros

French tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during the final Roland-Garros tournament, in Paris, on May 31, 2021.

The former number 5 in the world and the long number 1 French tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga announced on Wednesday 6 April in video posted on social media, that he would retire in 2022 after the Roland-Garros tournament. He will then be 37 years old.

“A few weeks ago I decided that I would stop at Roland this year. This will be my 15and Roland »the player explained, fell back to 220and world rankings and plagued by injuries for four years.

With eighteen titles, including two Masters 1000, Manceau is the second holiest Frenchman behind Yannick Noah since the dawn of the professional era. He often came close to the stars in Grand Slams, but failed to become the first Frenchman to win a major title since Noah’s coronation at Roland-Garros in 1983.

“What a run [quel parcours] † Thanks for everything, Joe! †reacted the ATP (the Association of Tennis Professionals) on Twitter† The French Tennis Federation has, for its part, gives “see you at Roland-Garros to vibrate together one last time”

“My abilities to surpass myself are gone”

“It took me a long time to make this decision. For several years now, there has been a point every day when I say to myself, “What am I doing, why am I hurting myself so much, is there still a reason to go through all this effort?” †explains de Manceau, comfortably installed on a sofa, with his wife by his side.

My head tells me, “You can play all your life,” but the body reminds me that my abilities to surpass myself are no longer there. My body tells me “you will not get beyond what I give you”. I used to do that every day

“The ultimate reason is to tell me, it’s the last thrill”he underlines with a reference to Roland-Garros.

Also read: Roland-Garros 2021: the horizon remains blocked for the French and the French

In 2008, an unknown 22-year-old child prodigy

I hope by then I can stay in good shape and be who I’ve always been in this tournament. The goal is to be myself, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the tennis player. I’ve always wanted to be efficient, set myself goals at the top. This is the opportunity to do it one last time.

For Tsonga, it all started in Melbourne. In January 2008, this unknown 22-year-old turned everything upside down to reach the final of the Australian Open. “I was not in my world. I passed from the dude who is 300and world, to whom we would almost feed a small piece of bread, to the man who is there, in front of 15,000 people shouting his name! †the Frenchman would remember years later.

Yet this son of a former handball player of Congolese descent and a teacher made an impression: he knocked out Andy Murray (9and) but especially Rafael Nadal, the world number 2 and then three-time winner of Roland-Garros, was swept away in three sets in the semifinals.

Dotted seasons due to injuries

Only Novak Djokovic will stop him. Armed with his devastating serve and forehand, Tsonga won his first title in Bangkok and then his first Masters 1000 in Bercy. At the end of 2008 it will be 6and global.

But the shadow of wounds lurks. That spring, the behemoth (1.88 m, 91 kg) underwent knee surgery and stayed away from the courts for several months. A scenario that will haunt him throughout a career that almost never started, due to multiple physical problems from his childhood years.

In recent years, his body has given him almost no respite: in addition to the underlying sickle cell disease – a genetic disease that affects red blood cells and causes great fatigue – he has suffered from knees, vertebrae, articular sacroiliac joint that calcified, forcing him to got to give up at 1er round of the Australian Open in 2020.

He then resumed the 2021 season only in dots, at the end of February in Montpellier, before finishing it off with a loss on 1er round at Wimbledon. Tsonga returned to the competition this year with the idea of: ” plan [sa] Exit “as he had indicated to Agence France-Presse in February, ahead of the Open 13 in Marseille.

Le Monde and AFP