Back in February last year, one of the greatest indoor players on the Tour in the previous decade Jo-Wilfried Tsonga entered Montpellier as one of the title favorites, beating Nicolas Mahut and Andrey Rublev to reach the quarters.
There, an aggressive Frenchman was on the verge of beating a compatriot Lucas Pouille when he suffered a nasty knee injury that had kept him away from the court for seven months, sending him out from the top-100 in October for the first time since 2007!
As was expected, Tsonga made a shaky return in Metz in September, losing five of the last six matches and starting to prepare for a comeback in 2019. Ranked outside the top-230, Jo-Wilfried was back at his best in Brisbane, beating Thanasi Kokkinakis, Taro Daniel and Alex de Minaur to reach the first semi-final in almost a year.
Novak Djokovic was too strong in the second round at the Australian Open and Tsonga went home to conquer the title in Montpellier where his problems started a year ago, gaining a massive boost ahead of the following tournaments.
A former Grand Slam finalist lost to Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-final in Rotterdam and had to slow down in the next couple of weeks, returning in Marrakech where he advanced into the semi-final and playing in the last eight at Bordeaux Challenger to crack the top-100 again.
After Lyon and Roland Garros, Tsonga grabbed four wins on grass ahead of mediocre North American hard-court swing, heading back to Europe after an early US Open loss and conquering Cassic Challenger and an ATP title in Metz, securing enough points to crack the top-40 again.
In front of the home fans in Paris, Tsonga advanced into the quarter-final to find himself in the top-30 for the first time since February last year when his problems started. Well-deserved, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has earned the Comeback player of the year award nomination together with Stan Wawrinka, Andrey Rublev and Andy Murray, in a true testimony of his impressive comeback to where he belongs, just a year after dropping out from the top-250.
"Since my injury last year, I have worked a lot to come back to my best level. Very happy and proud of this nomination! Thank you all for your great support every day, it means a lot to me! Let's do it even better in 2020!"