20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has paid a tribute to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga following his retirement as he stated that it was a pleasure to compete against the Frenchman. Tsonga, 37, retired at the French Open as his career came to an end following a first round defeat at Roland Garros.
Following a loss versus Casper Ruud, a special retirement ceremony took place. During the ceremony, a video tribute was played and there Federer shared a few kind words to Tsonga. “It was a pleasure to share the court with you, to play against you.
And to lose against you. Enjoy the moment, Jo-Willy," Federer said in the video.
Federer and Tsonga clashed 18 times
Federer and Tsonga had many great battles as the Swiss won 12 of their 18 meetings. One of the most memorable meetings between the two came at 2011 Wimbledon.
Back then, Tsonga recovered from a two-set deficit to beat Federer in the Wimbledon quarterfinal. Among those who paid to Tsonga was also top-ranked Novak Djokovic. Djokovic also delivered a kind message to Tsonga as he admitted he is sad to see the Frenchman retiring.
Djokovic and Tsonga clashed in the 2008 Australian Open and then the Serb captured his first of his 20 Grand Slam titles. “Jo is one of the most charismatic players ever to play the game and I was very happy to share the court with him many times and we get along very well, he’s a really nice guy.
And he brought I think positive attention and popularity to our sport not just because of his dynamic game style but also his charisma, his personality, so it’s a big loss for professional men’s tennis to have him retire but I wish him all the best.
He definitely should be happy about his career and his achievements, and he’s made his mark and legacy in our sport”. Tsonga never won a Grand Slam title or reached the top ranking but still went out as a great champion and true legend.