"It's never easy ... You have to test your mind to understand if you really want to play again", with these words in 2018 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga spoke to the media after knee surgery. From that moment on he returned after about five months but it seemed to everyone that he didn't see the tennis player that he had done so well before.
In 2019, however, things changed with the semi-final at the Australian Open against Novak Djokovic, lost in three sets, and the victory in two tournaments at the Open Sude de France against Pierre-Hugues Humbert and the subsequent one at the Marseille Open in the final against Aljaz Bedene.
The Frenchman seemed to be back on the road to success, but then things got complicated again in this 2020 and physical problems continue to be a serious thought in Jo-Wilfried's head. Close to 2021 are we all curious to understand 'what will happen'? Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and the physical problems of 2021 Tsonga's 2020 began with the Australian Open where in the opening round he was forced to retire due to a back injury against the 'host' Alexey Popyrin, a tennis player who had Tsonga as his idol.
Here are some words from Popyrin about it: "I've never felt like this after a match. Seeing him suffer and having to retire in this match was really just painful" Between the rest due to the injury to the lower back and the stop caused by the Pandemic and Tsonga had time to reschedule tournaments for 2021.
After Roger Federer, Tsonga is one of the heavy absences of the Melbourne tournament. Here are his words: "Despite the great progress over the months I am still not able to play in the world of tennis. I still have the morale and motivation to return in 2021 but we will see what happens and how these things develop."
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached his peak when the big four were dominating tennis. So in a recent interview with Eurosport, Tsonga jokingly said that he would have loved it if the big four (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic) hadn’t existed.
Tsonga on the Big 3
“We’re going to be honest, I would have loved it if all these guys didn’t exist,” Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said. Tsonga reached his only Grand Slam final at the 2008 Australian Open, but he lost to Novak Djokovic.
But playing in such a generation was also a thing of pride. “When you’re 5th in the world, you say to yourself ‘if they didn’t exist, I would be fine’. But it is also a source of pride”. Beating the big four is a thing of pride for Tsonga.
He has beaten Roger Federer and Djokovic six times. Tsonga has beaten Nadal four times and Murray two times. “Yeah but sometimes I beat him anyway. It is a source of pride. Same with Rafael Nadal, with Novak, with Murray and the others.
We finally played in a crazy generation!“ He has dropped out of the top 50 and made a shocking decision of not playing the Australian Open 2021. Whereas apart from Murray, the big 3 of Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer are still going strong on the ATP tour.
But still, Tsonga has had memorable victories against the big four. His comeback victory against Federer at the 2011 Wimbledon stands out.