Former world No. 5 calls it a season with ongoing back injury

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Former world No. 5 calls it a season with ongoing back injury

The 35-year-old Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has decided to skip the rest of the season with the lower-back injury. Tsonga has played only two matches in 2020, retiring against Alexei Popyrin after the third set and staying sidelined for eight months.

During the coronavirus outbreak, Jo-Wilfried had practice sessions but doesn't feel comfortable to play competitive matches before the next season. Thus, the crowd favorite will not compete at Roland Garros at the end of the month, needing more to recover entirely and hoping for a healthy start of 2021.

The last year's ATP Comeback player of the year nominee gained 210 positions on the ATP ranking list, suffering a terrible knee injury in Montpellier in February 2018 and dropping out from the top-100 eight months later for the first time since 2007.

As was expected, the Frenchman struggled to find the form once he returned in the closing stages of 2018, gathering energy for an impressive comeback in the season behind us. 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 proved to be 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 in what had been an emotional moment for him.

A former Major 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 on clay where he advanced into the semi-final, playing in the last eight at Bordeaux Challenger to crack the top-100 again.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will miss rest of the season, hoping for fresh start in 2021.

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 and continue his progress.

In front of the partisan crowd at Paris Masters, Jo-Wilfried advanced into the quarter-final to find himself in the top-30 for the first time since February 2018, finishing the season in the selected group for the 11th time in the last 12 years and earning the Comeback player of the year award nomination.

Still, more health problems were lying just around the corner, as Jo-Wilfried started to struggle with a back injury, losing in Doha and Melbourne's opening round and having to sit out for the rest of the year. "I still have the desire and motivation to come back in 2021, hoping that things will develop for the better.

Getting back to the court and fighting against all these incredible players would be a dream for me," Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said.