Former world No. 5 Jo-Wifried Tsonga was absolutely thrilled after beating Feliciano Lopez in the Marseille first round as after the match he admitted he thought he would never again be able to experience the feeling of winning.
Tsonga, who played only two tournaments last year due to an injury, defeated Lopez 3-6 6-4 7-5 to clinch his first ATP win since the 2019 season. Two weeks ago, Tsonga kicked off his 2021 season in Montpellier but didn't have much success as he was easily beaten in straight sets by rising American star Sebastian Korda.
"I thought I would never be able to experience that feeling again ... no words to describe it ... we are the only one to have the key of our destiny. Don’t let anyone else telling you that you are not able to do it," Tsonga said in a Twitter post after beating Lopez.
Tsonga 'happy like a kid'
"This is probably one of the best victories of my career, because it was tough for me to play tennis. I had so much pain for so many months,” Tsonga said in an on-court interview.
“Today, I won one match. That was one of my goals for these few weeks… I’m happy like a kid”. Meanwhile, Tsonga's fellow compatriot Lucas Pouille also made a positive start to his Marseille campaign as he saw off Alex Molcan 7-5 6-3 to reach the round-of-16.
Pouille is disappointed because the stands aren't full this week as certainly he would have a big support from the French crowd. "The only message I can send [to tennis fans] is that I can't wait to see them back on courts because that's also why we play tennis — to share emotions with the crowd and without them it's not the same so I'm really looking forward to it," Pouille said after his opening win in Marseille, per AnnaK_4ever/Twitter.