Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Template:IPA-fr; born Template:Birth date) is a French professional tennis player. He was born in Le Mans, to a French mother, Évelyne, and a Congolese father, Didier Tsonga, who moved to France in the 1970s to play handball. Tsonga is a member of the Tennis Club de Paris (TCP). His current career-high singles ranking is World No. 5, which he achieved on 27 February 2012.
Tsonga rose to fame by virtue of his performance in the 2008 Australian Open when, as an unseeded player, he reached the final, having defeated four seeded players along the way, including earning a straight-sets win over the World No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. Tsonga eventually lost to the World No. 3 Novak Djokovic in the final in four sets, after winning the first set, the only set Djokovic dropped during the tournament.
Tsonga followed this up by winning his first ATP Masters Series championship at the 2008 Paris Masters, thus qualifying for the 2008 Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, China. His best performances in a major tournament since 2008 are semifinal appearances in the 2010 Australian Open and at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2012. He also reached the final of the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals where he lost to five-time and defending champion Roger Federer. He is one of the few active players on tour to have reached the quarter-finals stage of all four Grand Slams.
Tsonga is of mixed ancestry. His father, handball player Didier Tsonga, is from Congo-Brazzaville, and his mother Évelyne is French. Jo's father moved to France during the 1970s to fulfill his own dreams of becoming a handball great, where he eventually met Évelyne and they married. Tsonga is nicknamed Ali, because of his facial resemblance to the boxer.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has a younger brother (Enzo) who, much like Jo, has been inspired to play sports and is part of the French basketball program (junior). He also has an elder sister (Sasha) who is less involved with sporting ventures. His footballing cousin is Maël Lépicier who plays for Template:Nft. Tsonga and Gaël Monfils developed a good friendship from a young age, when they enjoyed mimicking all the tennis greats of the past.
As a junior, Tsonga reached a ranking of No. 2 in the world and won the US Open title. He reached 4 other semi-finals of junior grand slam events. Marcos Baghdatis was a rival of Tsonga in the junior stage.
Junior Slam results:
After turning pro in 2004, Tsonga suffered a string of injuries beginning in late 2004, with a herniated disc that caused him to be out of action until March 2005. Then came two right shoulder injuries later in 2005, back and abdominal ailments from October 2005 to February 2006, and the recurrence of an abdominal injury at the end of 2006. In all, he played only eight tournaments during that time.
In January 2007, then ranked No. 212 in the world, Tsonga received a wild card entry into the 2007 Australian Open, where in only his second senior Grand Slam match he met up with sixth seed Andy Roddick for the second time in his career. What followed was the longest tiebreak in Australian Open history in the first set, which he went on to win (20–18). Tsonga forced a tiebreak in the second set as well. However, he went on to lose the match 7–6, 6–7, 3–6, 3–6. He was just 21 at the time.
In 2007, he won four Challenger titles in Tallahassee, Mexico City, Lanzarote, and Surbiton. Tsonga qualified for the 2007 Queen's Club Championships, while at the same time playing in the Surbiton Challenger, which he won. Between the two events, he won five matches during the course of two days. In the second round of the Queen's main draw, he met the sixth seed and defending champion, former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, ranked no. 16 in the ATP rankings. Tsonga won the match after two tiebreaks 7–6, 7–6, to seal his most prominent victory since his triumph in ATP debut over former World No. 1 Carlos Moyà, then ranked No. 6 in the world, at Beijing in 2004. Suffering from fatigue, however, Tsonga went on to lose to promising Croatian youngster Marin Čilić in the following round.
At Wimbledon 2007, where he was again awarded a wildcard entry, he reached the fourth round (his first time past round one of a Grand Slam), defeating countryman Julien Benneteau, Nicolás Lapentti, and Feliciano López. His run was halted by his countryman and friend, 12th seed (14th-ranked) Richard Gasquet, in straight sets 4–6, 3–6, 4–6. He did not beat a seeded player in his progress to the fourth round (Andy Murray, the potential seed he would have faced, had dropped out). The win brought his ranking up from No. 110 to No. 74, his first time inside the top 75.
Then, at the 2007 US Open, Tsonga defeated Óscar Hernández 7–5, 6–1, 6–3, in the first round, before beating Tim Henman 7–6, 2–6, 7–5, 6–4, in what proved to be Henman's last Grand Slam match. He then lost to Rafael Nadal 6–7, 2–6, 1–6.
The 2007 Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon tournament started strongly for Tsonga. He did not drop a set, beating Vince Spadea 6–3, 6–4, and winning against fourth seed Richard Gasquet, who beat him at Wimbledon 6–4, 6–4, and then defeating Olivier Rochus 6–3, 6–2. He then lost 6–1, 6–2 to compatriot Sébastien Grosjean. He partnered Grosjean, however, in men's doubles, where the team was awarded a wildcard. In the first round, they beat top seeds Julien Benneteau and Michaël Llodra 2–6, 6–4 RET. The team defeated compatriots Fabrice Santoro and Gilles Simon in the quarterfinals and third seeds and also compatriots Arnaud Clément and Nicolas Mahut in the semifinals. Tsonga won his first doubles title, and Grosjean won his first doubles title in three years by defeating Łukasz Kubot and Lovro Zovko in the final 6–4, 6–3.
By the end of the year, Tsonga saw his ranking rise over 150 ranking spots into the top 50. Tsonga began 2007 ranked No. 212 in the world, and in early July was in the top 100 at No. 74. In October, Tsonga climbed into the top 50 for the first time in his career, finishing the year ranked No. 43 in the world. Tsonga's year-end 169 ranking spots climb was the biggest climb of any player ranked in the top 75.
Starting his 2008 season, Tsonga won a singles match at the 2008 Next Generation Adelaide International. He defeated Victor Hănescu 6–3, 4–6, 7–5, in the first round, and scored straight sets victories over his next two opponents, defeating Ernests Gulbis 6–3, 6–2, and Lleyton Hewitt (the top seed) 6–4, 6–2. However, he fell in the semifinals to Jarkko Nieminen, the third seed 2–6, 4–6. In doubles, Tsonga and Sébastien Grosjean lost to Florian Mayer and Chris Haggard 6–2, 6–7, [6–10], in the first round.
Tsonga began his 2008 Australian Open campaign with a tough first-round match against ninth seed Andy Murray and pulled off a shock victory 7–5, 6–4, 0–6, 7–6, setting up a clash with American qualifier Sam Warburg in the second round. After defeating Warburg in straight sets, Tsonga advanced to the third round, where he was victorious over Guillermo García López 6–3, 6–4, 6–2. In the fourth round, Tsonga defeated Richard Gasquet 6–2, 6–7, 7–6, 6–3.
In the quarterfinals, Tsonga played Russia's Mikhail Youzhny, who came into the quarterfinal showdown with a nine-match winning streak. Tsonga dismantled the favored Youzhny in straight sets 7–5, 6–0, 7–6. In the semifinals, Tsonga delivered a strong performance to destroy the no. 2 seed Rafael Nadal 6–2, 6–3, 6–2, to complete back-to-back straight-set victories over heavily favored opponents. He did not face a break point until the third set, while breaking the Spaniard five times in the match. Nadal got three break points in a single game in the third set, but Tsonga was able to save all three break points. The victory earned him a spot in his first career Grand Slam final and also made him the first player since Gustavo Kuerten at the 1997 French Open to make his ATP finals debut at a Grand Slam tournament.
Tsonga was beaten by World No. 3 Novak Djokovic in the final 4–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–6. Tsonga was the only player in the tournament to take a set from Djokovic. Following the tournament, he saw his ranking climb to a career-high of World No. 18. Tsonga then competed at the Indian Wells Masters, where he reached the fourth round, before losing to defending champion Rafael Nadal in three sets 7–6, 6–7, 5–7. Following the tournament, Tsonga saw his ATP ranking climb again to a new career high of World No. 12.
Tsonga had pulled out of the French Open because of a knee problem that had lasted for several months. This knee injury made him pull out of the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup, France vs. the United States. He underwent successful knee surgery and participated in the 2008 US Open. He defeated Santiago Ventura in the first round 6–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–3, and 2006 quarterfinalist and former World No. 1 Carlos Moyà in the second round 4–6, 6–3, 6–4, 6–4. He was ousted by former World No. 5 Tommy Robredo in the third round, losing in straight sets1 6–7, 2–6, 3–6.
Tsonga entered the Thailand Open as the second-seeded player. After receiving a bye in the first round, Tsonga defeated Lukáš Dlouhý in a tight three-setter 7–6, 3–6, 7–6, in the second round. He then went on to have a straight-set victory over eighth seed Jürgen Melzer 6–3, 6–2, and a straight-set win over friend and compatriot Gaël Monfils 6–0, 6–3. Tsonga went on to defeat top seed and 2008 Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic 7–6, 6–4, to claim his first career ATP title. At the Paris Masters, Tsonga overcame Djokovic once again 6–4, 1–6, 6–3, to earn a place in the quarterfinals. He then defeated Andy Roddick 5–7, 6–4, 7–6, to reach the semifinals, where he defeated James Blake 6–4, 6–3. In the final, Tsonga defeated David Nalbandian in a competitive three-set match 6–3, 4–6, 6–4, to capture his first career ATP Masters Series championship. His win allowed him to secure a spot in the year-end Tennis Masters Cup.
In the round-robin portion of the Masters Cup, Tsonga lost in succession to Nikolay Davydenko 7–6, 4–6, 6–7, and Juan Martín del Potro 6–7, 6–7, preventing him from advancing to the semifinals, but defeated eventual champion Novak Djokovic 1–6, 7–5, 6–1.
Tsonga started his 2009 season in Australia at the Brisbane International tournament. Entering the tournament as the second seed, he defeated Agustín Calleri 6–2, 7–5, in the first round. He then came back from a set down to win his second-round match against Jarkko Nieminen 0–6, 7–6, 7–6. He then lost, however, to Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals 6–1, 4–6, 2–6. Even though he did not win the singles title, he teamed up with fellow Frenchman Marc Gicquel to win the doubles title by defeating Fernando Verdasco and Mischa Zverev in the final 6–4, 6–3.
He then entered the Medibank International as the No. 3 seed, defeated Simone Bolelli 6–4, 6–1, in the second round, but had to retire before his quarterfinal against Jarkko Nieminen with a back injury.
He then entered the Australian Open, defeating Juan Mónaco in the first round 6–4, 6–4, 6–0. He then defeated Ivan Ljubičić in the second round 6–7, 7–6, 7–6, 6–2, Dudi Sela in the third 6–4, 6–2, 1–6, 6–1, and No. 9 seed James Blake in the fourth 6–4, 6–4, 7–6. He played Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals, losing in four sets 6–7, 6–3, 3–6, 2–6. His rank went down to No. 14.
Tsonga then entered the South African Tennis Open in Johannesburg. He defeated Thiago Alves 6–4, 6–1, Denis Istomin 6–1, 6–4, Kristof Vliegen 6–4, 6–1 and Frederico Gil 6–3, 6–4 to reach the final, where he beat fellow Frenchman Jérémy Chardy 6–4, 7–6, to win his first title of the year and third overall, without dropping a set throughout the whole week.
After his triumph in South Africa, Tsonga then entered the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. He defeated Dutchman Jesse Huta Galung 7–6, 7–6, in the first round. He then defeated Russian, Dmitry Tursunov in the second round 7–6, 6–2, but he lost to world no. 1 Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals 4–6, 7–6, 4–6.
Tsonga then entered the Open 13 in Marseille. He defeated Andrey Golubev 7–6, 6–2, in the first round, and then reached his sixth quarterfinal of the season by defeating Simone Bolelli 6–3, 6–2. After a three-set win over Feliciano López 6–2, 6–7, 6–4, Tsonga faced Novak Djokovic in the semifinals, winning 6–4, 7–6 in what was his fourth consecutive win over the Serb. In his second all-French final of the month, he defeated Michaël Llodra 7–5, 7–6, to win his second tournament in three weeks.
Tsonga was then called up alongside Gilles Simon to play the singles matches for France against the Czech Republic in their Davis Cup first-round clash, while Michaël Llodra and Richard Gasquet paired to play the doubles. After Simon lost the first match against Tomáš Berdych, Tsonga defeated Radek Štěpánek 7–5, 6–2, 7–6, to level the tie. It proved insufficient, though, as Llodra and Gasquet lost the doubles to Berdych and Štěpánek, and Štěpánek then proceeded to beat Simon to give Czech Republic an insurmountable 3–1 lead. Tsonga gave France a consolation point by beating Jan Hernych 6–2, 6–7, 7–6. Although the Czech Republic won the tie 3–2, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won both of his matches and kept his winning form alive before the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the year.
Tsonga then entered the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, where he received a bye for the first round. He defeated the Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili, 7–5, 6–3, in the second round, but made an early exit from the tournament, as he was defeated by the Russian Igor Andreev, 5–7, 4–6, in the third round.
Next up for Tsonga was the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. He defeated Agustín Calleri 6–1, 6–1, in the second and Robert Kendrick 7–5, 6–4, in third round, after receiving a first-round bye. Then, he defeated Gilles Simon in the fourth 6–7, 6–3, 6–2, only to lose to Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinal 3–6, 4–6.
Tsonga was set to make his return at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, an ATP World Tour Master 1000 event (after sacrificing two ATP World Tour Tournaments beforehand). However, he lost his first singles match in the clay-court season at the hands of Richard Gasquet 6–7, 4–6. Tsonga also competed in the doubles category. He and his partner Julien Benneteau defeated the English pair of Andy Murray and Ross Hutchins 6–4, 6–4, in the first round, but lost to the Polish pair of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 5–7, 3–6, in the second round.
Tsonga then entered the Madrid Masters, the last 1000 ATP World Tour event before Roland-Garros. He defeated Russian Marat Safin 6–4, 7–5, in the first round to record his first clay-court match win of the 2009 season and afterwards received the 2008 ATP Most Improved Player of the Year award. However, Tsonga's poor clay-court form continued, as he lost to Croat Ivan Ljubičić 4–6, 5–7, in the second round.
Tsonga then represented France at Düsseldorf, Germany in the ARAG World Team Cup, along with Gilles Simon and Jérémy Chardy. France was drawn in the Red Group against Sweden, Germany, and the United States. Tsonga won the first tie against Sweden's Andreas Vinciguerra 4–6, 6–3, 6–4, while Gilles Simon lost the second tie to Robin Söderling. However, the French pair of Tsonga and Chardy lost the tie 1–2, as they were defeated by the Swedish pair of Robin Söderling and Robert Lindstedt 6–2, 3–6 [10–7]. Then, the French team was up against the home side Germany, who won their first tie against the United States 2–1. Gilles Simon lost the first tie to German Rainer Schüttler 4–6, 4–6. Tsonga was defeated by German Philipp Kohlschreiber 7–6, 3–6, 3–6, who clinched the tie for Germany 2–0. France lost the tie to Germany 0–3, as the French pair of Simon and Chardy lost to the German pair of Nicolas Kiefer and Mischa Zverev 0–6, 4–6. Next, it was France against the USA. Both teams were out of the competition and were playing this tie for pride. Sam Querrey won the first tie for the USA against France's Gilles Simon 7–5, 6–3. Then, Tsonga was able to even the tie up, as he defeated American Robby Ginepri 3–6, 6–2, 6–4. However, France lost their third successive tie of the week, as the pair of Simon and Chardy lost to the American pair of Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey 6–2, 4–6 [7–10].
Tsonga then entered the French Open, the year's second Grand Slam event. Tsonga recorded his first-ever match win at Roland Garros, after defeating Julien Benneteau 6–4, 3–6, 6–3, 6–4, in the first round. He faced Argentine Juan Mónaco in the second round and won in a four-set thriller 7–5, 2–6, 6–1, 7–6. Tsonga earned his first straight-set win at Roland Garros when he defeated Belgian Christophe Rochus in the third round 6–2, 6–2, 6–2. However, his fine run ended at the hands of No. 5 seed Juan Martín del Potro 1–6, 7–6, 1–6, 4–6.
Tsonga then started his Wimbledon preparations at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany. He defeated his French compatriot Fabrice Santoro 7–5, 6–2, in the first round. However, Tsonga suffered a straight-set defeat against German Tommy Haas 3–6, 6–7 [3–7], in the second round. However, Jo was still alive in the doubles category, where he was paired along with his French compatriot Marc Gicquel. The French pair defeated Rogier Wassen and Igor Zelenay 6–3, 6–2, in the first round, but lost to Andreas Beck and Marco Chiudinelli 4–6, 6–1, [8–10] in the second round.
Tsonga then entered Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam of the year. He survived a tough four-set thriller against Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev 6–3, 5–7, 7–6, 7–6, in the first round. After receiving a walkover from Simone Bolelli in the second round, Tsonga was not able to get past the giant ace machine Ivo Karlović of Croatia, losing in four set 6–7, 7–6, 5–7, 6–7, in the third round.
Tsonga made his debut at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Canada. Tsonga received a bye in the first round and defeated German Rainer Schüttler 4–6, 6–3, 6–4, in the second round. In the third round, he defeated Gilles Simon 6–3, 6–3. In the quarterfinals he overcame World No. 1 Roger Federer 7–6, 1–6, 7–6, coming back from an injury timeout after winning the first set by a dive-volley, as well as being 1–5 down in the third set. He advanced to the semifinals, where he lost to Andy Murray 4–6, 6–7.
Tsonga then entered the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters, an ATP Masters 1000 World Tour event in Cincinnati, Ohio, again a debut. He received a bye in the first round and made an early exit from the singles category, unexpectedly losing to World No. 124 Chris Guccione of Australia 6–7, 2–6, in the second round. However, Jo was still in the doubles category, as he and Michaël Llodra defeated Jürgen Melzer and Radek Štěpánek 7–6, 6–4, in the first round. The French duo then defeated Bruno Soares and Kevin Ullyett 6–0, 6–3, in the second round. However, they lost to Mahesh Bhupati and Mark Knowles 6–7, 3–6, in the quarterfinals.
Tsonga then entered the last Grand Slam of the year; the US Open. In the first round, he dismantled World No. 920 Chase Buchanan 6–0, 6–2, 6–1. He defeated Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 7–5, 6–3, 6–4, in the second round. Tsonga then reached his first US Open fourth round, after defeating Julien Benneteau 7–6, 6–2, 6–4, in the third round. However, he lost to 11th seed Chilean Fernando González 6–3, 3–6, 6–7, 4–6, in the fourth round.
Tsonga then represented France at the Davis Cup playoff round against the Netherlands. The Netherlands took the first tie, as Thiemo de Bakker upset World No. 13 Gaël Monfils. However, Tsonga strongly levelled the tie to 1 apiece, as he defeated the Dutchman Jesse Huta Galung 7–6, 6–2, 7–6. Then, France took the crucial lead in the tie, as Michaël Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Thiemo de Bakker and Igor Sijsling 6–3, 3–6, 7–6, 6–4. France ultimately qualified for the Davis Cup World Group in 2010, as Tsonga defeated Thiemo de Bakker 7–6, 6–2, 3–6, 7–6, and Jérémy Chardy defeated Jesse Huta Galung 6–3, 6–2, wrapping up the tie 4–1.
Tsonga then entered the PTT Thailand Open, where he was the defending champion and seeded no. 1, as Rafael Nadal pulled himself out just days before the tournament began. Tsonga received a bye in the first round. He defeated Ernests Gulbis in a close second-round match, 6–7, 7–6, 7–6. Tsonga then survived another close battle against Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland, beating him 6–7, 6–3, 6–4, in the quarterfinals. However, he crashed out to the young Serbian Viktor Troicki 1–6, 6–2, 6–3, in the semifinals due to serious fatigue. Tsonga also competed in the doubles category with Fabrice Santoro. The French duo defeated Travis Parrott and Filip Polášek 6–3, 6–7, [10–7]. Then, they defeated Benjamin Becker and Leonardo Mayer 5–7, 6–1, [10–6] in the quarterfinals. However, they lost to Mischa Zverev and Guillermo García López 3–6, 2–6, in the semifinals.
Tsonga then entered the Japan Open in Tokyo. He defeated Russian Mischa Zverev in straight sets 6–4, 6–3, in the first round. Tsonga defeated Richard Gasquet 4–6, 6–2, 6–2, in the second round. In the quarterfinals, he rallied from a set down once again, to claim a 4–6, 6–4, 6–3 win over Latvian Ernests Gulbis. Tsonga then reached his third ATP World Tour final of the season after defeating Gaël Monfils in 55 minutes 6–3, 6–3. In the final, he beat Mikhail Youzhny 6–3, 6–3, in just over an hour to clinch his third title of the season and his first-ever ATP World Tour 500 title. In the doubles category, Tsonga paired up with Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, but they were defeated in the second round.
Tsonga then entered the Shanghai Masters in China, An ATP 1000 Masters event. He defeated Chinese Zeng Shao-Xuan 6–3, 6–3, in the second round. However, Tsonga faded to a 3–6, 3–6 loss against Robin Söderling in the third round. Tsonga also competed in the doubles category with Julien Benneteau. The pair defeated Michaël Llodra and Radek Štěpánek 7–5, 7–5, in the first round, before scoring a major upset over the World No. 1 pair Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjić 6–4, 6–4, in the second round. The French duo defeated František Čermák and Michal Mertiňák 3–6, 6–4, [10–7], in the quarterfinal and reached the final after defeating third seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles 7–6, 6–2, in the semifinal. In the final, they beat sixth seeded Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6–2, 6–4, to win their first-ever ATP Masters 1000 doubles title.
Tsonga then entered the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon in Lyon, France. He defeated Kevin Kim of the USA in two tight sets, 7–6, 7–6, in the first round. Tsonga dominated Olivier Rochus in the second round, 6–3, 6–2. However, an out-of-sorts Tsonga, lost a close battle against veteran Arnaud Clément in three tight sets, 7–5, 4–6, 6–7.
Tsonga then entered the Valencia Open in Spain. Unfortunately, he had to retire in his first round match against Russian Mikhail Youzhny, 7–6, 0–6, 0–3 (retired). With that loss, Tsonga's chances of qualifying for the year-ending world tour finals ended.
Tsonga then made his entrance at the Paris Masters in France, an ATP 1000 Masters event. He was the defending champion. He received a bye in the first round. Tsonga started his campaign by earning a 6–1, 7–5 win over Spaniard Albert Montañés in just 62 minutes. He stormed into the quarterfinals, beating injured Gilles Simon, 6–2 6–3, in the third round. Tsonga then lost to World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, 5–7, 5–7.
Tsonga ended his 2009 season staying in the top 10 for the second year in a row.
Tsonga switched his rackets to Babolat (previously using Wilson) and started his 2010 season at the AAMI Kooyong Classic, after recovering from a wrist injury. He kicked off his season in a fine fashion by defeating Swede Robin Söderling in straight sets, 7–6, 6–1. On day 2, he was due to face Juan Martín del Potro, but del Potro withdrew due to an injury. Tsonga defeated Tommy Haas, 6–4, 6–3, on day 3, but lost to Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the final, 5–7, 3–6.
Tsonga then entered the first Grand Slam of the year, Australian Open. He won his first-round match against Sergiy Stakhovsky, 6–3, 6–4, 6–4, and then cruised past American Taylor Dent, 6–4, 6–3, 6–3, in the second round. Tsonga emerged the winner of a match against Germany's Tommy Haas, 6–4, 3–6, 6–1, 7–5. In the fourth round, he played his first ever ATP level five-set match against 26th seed Spaniard Nicolás Almagro, winning 6–3, 6–4, 4–6, 6–7, 9–7. In the quarterfinals, he faced World No. 3 Novak Djokovic, and in his second five-set match, Tsonga defeated the Serb, 7–6, 6–7, 1–6, 6–3, 6–1, after Djokovic became ill during the match. Tsonga's fatigue soon took a toll on him, however, as he was badly beaten in the semifinals by No. 1 Roger Federer, 2–6, 3–6, 2–6.
After his run at Melbourne, he withstood a stomach injury and was forced to take a few weeks rest.
Tsonga then entered Open 13 in Marseilles, France. He was the defending champion at this tournament. After receiving a bye in the first round, Tsonga defeated Josselin Ouanna in the second round, 7–6, 6–4, and Ukrainian Illya Marchenko, 6–3, 6–4 to progress to the semifinals. Plagued by inconsistent form, Tsonga lost against Julien Benneteau, 6–7, 7–5, 6–7, in the semifinal, ending his title defense.
Despite plans of not playing at the 2010 Dubai Tennis Championships, he accepted a wildcard and became the fifth seed in the tournament. He played in round 2 against Michaël Llodra, who had arrived with form having the Open 13 title under his belt. After Tsonga took the first set 7–6, Llodra retired due to injury. Struggling with illness and lack of form, Tsonga lost against Ivan Ljubičić, 5–7, 3–6, in the second round.
In the first round of the 2010 Davis Cup, France faced Germany. In the singles, Tsonga helped France to take an unassailable 3–0 lead, by winning the second rubber match, 6–3, 6–2, 6–7, 6–3, against Benjamin Becker. In the fourth rubber match (the dead rubber match), Tsonga was forced to retire against Simon Greul, trailing 6–4, 2–6, 0–1 due to a recurring injury.
He was seeded ninth at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. After receiving a bye into the second round, he beat Marinko Matosevic and Albert Montañés, before crashing out to Robin Söderling, 3–6, 4–6, in the fourth round.
He was seeded eighth at the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. After receiving a bye into the second round, he beat Guillermo García López, 6–4, 6–3. In the third round, he took out No. 28 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, 6–2, 7–5. In the fourth round, he crushed No. 12 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero, 6–2, 6–2. In the quarterfinals however, he lost to No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal, 3–6, 2–6, after blowing eight break-point opportunities.
He made his debut at the 2010 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in Monaco as the fifth seed, and received a bye in the first round. In the second round, he played Nicolás Almagro, and they produced another scintillating match (like in their previous meeting in Melbourne), with Tsonga prevailing 7–6, 7–5. In the third round, however, he was edged out in an exciting match against in-form no. 9 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero, 1–6, 6–3, 5–7.
Jo had been injured most of the time at the start of the clay season, not having the chance to play many clay-court tournaments. He made his debut at the 2010 Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell. He was seeded third and received a bye in the first round. In the second-round, he beat Czech Jan Hájek comfortably, 6–3, 6–2. In the third round, he faced No. 15 seed Nicolás Almagro in a rematch of their last meeting at Monte Carlo the previous week. Jo won again in another tough match, 5–7, 6–1, 6–4. However, he was stunned by up-and-coming Dutch youngster Thiemo de Bakker, 4–6, 6–3, 3–6, in the quarterfinals.
At the 2010 Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome as the No. 7 seed, he received a bye into the second round. He recorded his first win over Viktor Troicki, 6–2, 6–3, in the second round. In the third round, he beat Colombian Santiago Giraldo, 6–3, 6–4. In his first quarterfinal appearance in a clay-court Masters 1000 event, he was beaten by in-form No. 13 seed and clay-court specialist David Ferrer, 4–6, 1–6.
Seeded eighth at the 2010 French Open, he faced a tough encounter against upcoming German Daniel Brands, defeating the German in a grueling five-setter, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–7, 7–5, in the first round. He easily defeated Josselin Ouanna, 6–0, 6–1, 6–4, in the second round. He survived a test, along with back pains, to prevail over Thiemo de Bakker, 6–7, 7–6, 6–3, 6–4. Unfortunately, in the fourth round, Tsonga had to withdraw after losing the first set 2–6 against Mikhail Youzhny, due to the progressive regional back pain from the previous round. Scans showed that Tsonga had sustained a right hip injury.
In a tune-up event to Wimbledon, at the Boodles Challenge exhibition tournament, Tsonga won his first rubber match against Nikolay Davydenko, 6–3, 7–6. In the second rubber match, he beat Philipp Kohlschreiber, 6–3, 7–6.
The All England Club was Tsonga's next stop, as he was seeded tenth at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships. He defeated Robert Kendrick in a tough opening round, 7–6, 7–6, 3–6, 6–4. In the second round, he survived a near-meltdown to finally put away up-and-coming Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in five sets, 6–4, 6–4, 6–7, 5–7, 10–8. He also defeated German qualifier Tobias Kamke, 6–1, 6–4, 7–6, in the third round. He went on to beat his previous best fourth round run in 2007 by beating Julien Benneteau, 6–1, 6–4, 3–6, 6–1, to reach the quarterfinals for the first time. However, in the quarterfinals, after missing a crucial point in the second set tiebreak, which could have brought up set point for Jo for a chance to go up 2 sets to 0, he eventually fell to home favorite Andy Murray, 7–6, 6–7, 2–6, 2–6.
Not long after his Wimbledon campaign, Jo suffered a heavy knee injury. It caused him to withdraw from all the Olympus US Open Series events.
He made his return in October for his title defense at the 2010 Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships as the third seed. However, after a three-month absence from the tour, he was visibly rusty and out of sorts. He drew a tough opening round match against Thailand Open finalist Jarkko Nieminen, and unsurprisingly lost, 4–6, 7–5, 1–6, which ended his title defense immediately.
Tsonga saw a quick recovery of his form when he competed at the 2010 Shanghai Rolex Masters 1000, as the No. 12 seed. In the opening round, he defeated Feliciano López, 7–6, 6–3. He went on to beat American Sam Querrey, 7–6, 6–1, in the second round, and also beat Florian Mayer, 7–5, 6–3, in the third round. In the quarterfinals, he lost to eventual champion Andy Murray, 2–6, 2–6.
Then he entered the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, but lost against Viktor Troicki in the second round 6–3, 3–6, 5–7. A week later, Tsonga made a semifinal appearance at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, where he was beaten 6–7, 6–2, 4–6 in the semifinals by Gaël Monfils for the first time.
During the week in Montpellier, he re-aggravated his knee problem. He missed the Paris Masters, as well as the important French Davis Cup final against Serbia. It had been a disheartening end to the season for Tsonga, as he finished the season out of the top 10 position for the first time after 2 years in the top 10.
Tsonga started his 2011 ATP season with an exhibition tournament at Abu Dhabi. However, Tsonga suffered a 6–4, 6–7, 6–1 loss to Arkadiusz Kocyla. He later told the press that being out of tennis for several months last season has made him hungry and determined.
Tsonga then participated in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, Qatar. He defeated Spaniard Rubén Ramírez Hidalgo, 6–2, 6–0, in the first round. He went on to beat Ukrainian Sergei Bubka, 6–2, 6–4, in the second round. Tsonga then went through to the semifinal, after defeating Guillermo García López, 7–6, 7–6, but lost to the World No. 2 Roger Federer, 3–6, 6–7 in the semifinal.
Tsonga then entered the AAMI Kooyong Classic in Melbourne, Australia. He had to play a pro-set match against Jürgen Melzer because of several rain delays before the match. Tsonga lost to Jürgen Melzer, 6–8.
Tsonga then entered the year's first Grand Slam event, Australian Open. Tsonga was seeded 13th. Tsonga came back magnificently from two sets down to win his third five-set match against Germany's Philipp Petzschner, 4–6, 2–6, 6–2, 6–3, 6–4, in the first round. He then had a straight-set win over Italian Andreas Seppi, 6–3, 7–6, 7–6, in the second round. However, Tsonga could not proceed into the second week of the tournament, as he lost to Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in five sets 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 1–6, 1–6, in the third round. Tsonga dropped five places on the ATP Singles Rankings to World No. 18. This was his lowest ranking since September 2008.
Tsonga then participated in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He defeated Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, 6–4, 6–4, in the first round. He then went on to defeat Michaël Llodra, 4–6, 6–4, 6–4, in the second round. Tsonga then entered the semifinal when Tomáš Berdych pulled out of the event because of illness. He beat Croatian Ivan Ljubičić, 6–4, 7–6, in the semifinal, but could not end his trophy drought, as he lost in the final 3–6, 6–3, 3–6 against Swede Robin Söderling.
Tsonga then entered the Open 13 tennis tournament at Marseille, France. He had an easy win in the first round over Benoît Paire, 6–1, 6–2. Tsonga then entered his third quarterfinal of the season, after beating Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, in the second round. However, he could not go all the way at his home tournament, as he lost to Russian Mikhail Youzhny, 4–6, 6–2, 4–6, in the quarterfinals. A day later, he declared that he had sustained another ankle injury, which again put him out of Davis Cup action against Austria.
Tsonga, as the 15th seed, produced a poor showing at the 2011 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. In the opening round, he fell to Belgian veteran Xavier Malisse, 6–7, 5–7, despite serving for the second set at 5–4.
At the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, as the 15th seed again, his poor form continued. He showed lapses in form in the opening second-round match, but managed to get a win over Russia's Teymuraz Gabashvili, 6–3, 6–7, 6–3. In the third round against Alexandr Dolgopolov, Jo was a set up and a break, but true to his inconsistent form, he was taken to the deciding set. Because of the rain, the match was halted to the next day at *2–3 on serve in the third set. In the preceding day, Tsonga worked his way to hold three successive break points (40–0*) at 4–4 on the Ukrainian's serve, but his erratic form made him squander those opportunities, and he eventually lost the match 7–6, 4–6, 5–7.
At the 2011 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, as the 12th seed, he began his clay-court season with a 4–6, 6–3, 6–2 win over Argentine Juan Monaco in the first round. In the second round, he was beaten, 6–7, 4–6, by Croatian Ivan Ljubičić, after wasting a lead by a break in both sets. At the 2011 Estoril Open as the third seed, his form became more worrying, as he was dumped out by Pablo Cuevas 2–6, 6–7, in the opening round.
Tsonga then found some form at the 2011 Mutua Madrid Open, beating first time top-10 debutant Nicolas Almagro 6–1, 6–3, before losing to Robin Söderling, 6–7, 5–7, in the third round. At the 2011 Internazionali BNL d'Italia, he beat juniors rival Marcos Baghdatis 6–3, 6–2, before losing to Roger Federer 4–6, 2–6, in the second round.
Tsonga was the No. 19 seed heading into the 2011 French Open. He beat both Jan Hajek and Igor Andreev in straight sets and made it to the third round, where he was defeated by 14th seed Stanislas Wawrinka, after leading by two sets and 4–1 in the third set, eventually losing 6–4, 7–6, 6–7, 2–6, 3–6.
At the 2011 AEGON Championships in London, Tsonga received a first-round bye, then beat Michael Berrer 6–0, 6–1, in the second round. He then made it through to the third round when his opponent Michaël Llodra retired with a leg injury in the middle of the first set. In the quarterfinals, he impressed by finally notching his second win over World No. 1 Rafael Nadal since the 2008 Australian Open, defeating him 6–7, 6–4, 6–1 to move through to the semifinals for the first time in a grass tournament. In the semifinals, he defeated British wildcard James Ward 6–3, 7–6, to reach his first final in a tournament other than hardcourt. In the final, he let slip a healthy lead into a disappointing loss against Andy Murray, 6–3, 6–7, 4–6.
Just 24 hours later, he arrived at the 2011 AEGON International in Eastbourne as the top seed. In his opening round, he defeated Denis Istomin, 6–2, 7–5. In the second round, he was fatigued and lost to Radek Stepanek, 2–6, 3–6.
At the 2011 Wimbledon Championships as the 12th seed, he defeated Go Soeda in the opening round, 6–3, 7–6, 6–2, before passing a tough test against talented up-and-coming youngster Grigor Dimitrov 6–7, 6–4, 6–4, 7–6, in the second round. In the third round, he proceeded to take out Fernando Gonzalez 6–3, 6–4, 6–3, while also taking out World No. 7 David Ferrer 6–3, 6–4, 7–6. In the quarterfinals, he stunned the Centre Court crowd by coming from two sets down to defeat Federer 3–6, 6–7, 6–4, 6–4, 6–4. He reached the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time, finishing the match with a love hold. This handed Federer his first loss in a Grand Slam after leading two sets to love, while handing Tsonga only his second win in coming back from two sets down. In the semifinals, however, despite serving for the first set and saving three match points in the third-set tiebreak, he eventually lost to No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic 6–7, 2–6, 7–6, 3–6, in an emotionally charged match that allowed Djokovic to become World No. 1 for the first time.
At the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Tsonga defeated Fabio Fognini and Bernard Tomic to set up a Wimbledon quarterfinal rematch against Roger Federer. He prevented Federer from gaining revenge as he defeated him 7–6, 4–6, 6–1, in the third round. He backed up his victory with a 6–4, 6–4 win over Nicolás Almagro, to set up a Wimbledon semifinal rematch against Novak Djokovic. After trailing 4–6, 0–3, Tsonga retired due to an arm problem.
At the 2011 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Tsonga defeated Milos Raonic 6–1, 6–1 in the first round. In the second round, however, he suffered a surprise 3–6, 4–6, defeat against American qualifier Alex Bogomolov Jr.
At the US Open, he defeated Sergei Bubka and Fernando Verdasco to meet Mardy Fish in the fourth round. He won that match in five sets 6–4, 6–7, 3–6, 6–4, 6–2. He again met Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, but this time Federer swept him aside easily 4–6, 3–6, 3–6.
Tsonga assisted France in a difficult Davis Cup semifinal against Spain on the clay courts in their hometown. In the doubles, Tsonga teamed up with Michael Llodra to notch an impressive 6–1, 6–2, 6–0 victory over Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez. However, Jo came up against a ruthless Rafael Nadal in his 4th singles rubber, to lose 0–6, 2–6, 4–6 to and lose the tie against Spain 1–3. France eventually went down 1–4 in the final result.
Tsonga played at the 2011 Open de Moselle in Metz, France, where he was the top seeded player. He defeated Mathieu Rodrigues 6–3, 6–4 in the first round. In the quarterfinals, he prevailed against Nicolas Mahut 4–6, 6–3, 7–5. In the semifinals, he ended a two-match losing streak against Alexandr Dolgopolov by beating him 6–4, 6–4 to advance to his 3rd final of the season. In the final, Tsonga fought past Ivan Ljubicic 6–3, 6–7, 6–3 to win the tournament, which was his first title in almost two years since his triumph in Tokyo.
Tsonga, again as a top seed, played at the 2011 China Open in Beijing for the first time since 2007. He opened his title bid against talented Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. After a hard-fought first set tie-break, Tsonga was able to sweep Dimitrov aside 7–6, 7–5. The second round was considerably easier as Tsonga drew Chinese Wild Card: Zhang Ze who he beat 6–3, 6–4. It was more of the same in the quarterfinals where he defeated Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain by the same score. As expected, the semi-finals against an in-form Tomáš Berdych was extremely difficult. Berdych took the first set with a single break: 6–4 but Tsonga fought back to take the second 6–4. However, a fatigued Tsonga could not withstand Berdych's growing confidence, losing the 3rd set 6–1.
A great amount of injuries (Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling) left Tsonga as No. 4 seed for the 2011 Shanghai Rolex Masters. Tsonga received a bye in the first round. In the second, he met Kei Nishikori who had come through a hard-fought victory over Robin Haase). The consistent Japanese number one played some great tennis in the first set but was just edged out on the tie-break 7–6 after no break points for either player. In the second set, breaks were traded until eventually Nishikori came through 6–4. Despite an early break for Tsonga, Nishikori was able to come through the second set with the same scoreline, a huge disappointment for Jo as some points here were valuable for securing an ATP World Tour Finals position.
Vienna was the next destination for Tsonga in the 2011 Erste Bank Open. Jo was the top seed for the event and so received a bye in the first round. His second round opponent was Jarkko Nieminen, who had just lost in the final of the 2011 If Stockholm Open to Gael Monfils only the previous week. Nieminen, however, took the first set 6–3 after breaking Tsonga's serve early on. Despite losing the first, Tsonga came back to take the match, winning the second set 6–1. At 3–1 down in the third set, Nieminen retired due to illness. His third round opponent was Xavier Malisse, who had already beaten Tsonga earlier this year at the 2011 BNP Paribas Open 7–6, 7–5, started the stronger of the two. However, after losing the first set, Jo took the match 4–6, 7–6, 6–4. German qualifier Daniel Brands was Tsonga's semi-final opponent after he beat fourth seed Radek Stepanek and fellow qualifier Steve Darcis in the round of 16 and the quarter-finals respectively. Tsonga broke twice in the first set and won a tie-break in the second to take the match 6–2, 7–6. Tsonga faced Juan Martin Del Potro, a player who has a 3–0 record against Tsonga. The first set was tight with Del Potro taking it on a tie-break. Del Potro scored an early break in the second set, however, Tsonga broke straight back and then again to take the second set. The third set was just as close but Tsonga broke midway through it and took the match 6–7, 6–3, 6–4 for his second title of the season.
Just two days after his victory in Vienna, Tsonga played his first round match at the 2011 Valencia Open 500 as second seed. He faced little-known wildcard, Javier Marti. Despite his inexperience, the World No. 182 put up a great fight. Tsonga eventually won 4–6, 7–5, 6–2. In the second round, Jo faced American Sam Querrey. Sam started the match fantastically and carried the momentum into the second set winning 7–6, 6–2.
As expected, the home crowd warmed to Jo from the start of the 2011 BNP Paribas Masters. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, however, was a difficult second-round opponent (after Tsonga received a bye in the first round). With the crowd firmly with him, Tsonga won 6–3, 6–4. In a repeat of the 2011 Australian Open second round, Tsonga next faced Andreas Seppi of Italy. Just like earlier this year, Jo-Wilfried won. This time, the score was 6–3, 6–4. His quarter-final match against Novak Djokovic was a mouth-watering encounter between two of the best players of 2011. However, it was announced earlier in the day that Djokovic had pulled out after aggravating his shoulder injury, this gave Tsonga a clear route through to the semi-finals, where he would face John Isner. After saving 3 match points and serving phenomenally, Tsonga wrapped up the match 3–6, 7–6, 7–6 to set up a final against Roger Federer, this will be the 6th time the two have met this year. Jo has only ever been in one ATP Masters Series final, and this was the BNP Paribas Masters in 2008 where he defeated David Nalbandian to take the title. This time, though, he was not so fortunate as he faced an in-form Roger Federer. Federer stormed the first set 1–6 and took the momentum in the second. Tsonga held his serve well, only conceding one break point and also had two break points of his own. Roger was just too strong, however, as he took the match 1–6, 6–7.
As a result of his exploits in the Paris Masters, he qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in sixth place, hence being seeded 6th. The first round robin match saw an immediate rematch against No. 4 seed Federer and again Tsonga fell short, but in a close 2–6, 6–2, 4–6 battle. In his second round robin match, Tsonga defeated No. 8 seed Mardy Fish 7–6, 6–2 to keep his hopes alive, while knocking out Fish in the round robin stage. In the third and final round robin match, Tsonga won an entertaining three-set battle against No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal 7–6, 4–6, 6–3 to knock him out in the round robin stage and for Tsonga to progress to the semifinals. In a match of first-time semifinalists, Tsonga defeated Tomas Berdych 6–2, 7–5 to progress to the finals of the year-end championships for the first time in his career. In the final, Tsonga fought bravely but came up short once again against Roger Federer in a 3–6, 7–6, 3–6 affair which handed Federer a record 6 titles in the year-end championships. Tsonga finished the year matching his 2008 career-high ranking of World No. 6.
Just before 2012 began, Tsonga participated in the Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament in late December of 2011. He lost his opening match against World No. 5 and eventual tournament finalist David Ferrer 6–2, 6–7, 2–6.
Tsonga then began his 2012 season at the 2012 Qatar Open in Doha, as the #3 seed of the tournament. In the first round, he overcame a spirited challenge from Tunisian Malek Jaziri 7–6, 6–7, 6–1. In the second round, he defeated Flavio Cipolla 7–6, 6–3 in another testy encounter. In the quarterfinals, he had an easier time against Albert Ramos whom he beat 6–2, 6–1 to set up a meeting with No. 2 seed Roger Federer in the semifinals. However, Federer announced an unexpected withdrawal from the tournament due to a back problem, which gave Tsonga a walkover to the final. In the finals for the first time in Doha, he played against Gael Monfils and won 7–5, 6–3, and was named champion of the 2012 Qatar Open.
Prior to the Australian Open, Jo-Wilfried played in the 2012 AAMI Classic exhibition tournament as first seed. However, this seeding proved nothing as Jo was beaten by Jurgen Melzer 4–6, 3–6 and then by Kei Nishikori 6–1, 4–6, 1–6 in the play-off draw before pulling out before a match against Tomas Berdych.
A week later, Tsonga began his 2012 Grand Slam season. Wins over Denis Istomin (6–4, 3–6, 6–2, 7–5), Ricardo Mello (7–5, 6–4, 6–4) and Frederico Gil (6–2, 6–2, 6–2) took him through to the Round of 16 at the 2012 Australian Open. However, disaster struck against Japanese rookie Kei Nishikori. After having already lost to the 22 year-old twice before, it was evident that Jo-Wilfried was feeling the pressure and lost a close 5-set match 6–2, 2–6, 1–6, 6–3, 3–6.
To recover from fatigue and slight injuries, Tsonga took a fair period of time off before entering the 2012 Open 13. Jo received a bye in the first round before defeating Nicolas Mahut 6–3, 6–2 in the second. The quarter-finals followed suit as Tsonga beat fellow Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6–4, 7–5, to face Juan Martin Del Potro in the semis. Del Potro had a 3–1 record against Tsonga going into the match, but Tsonga did win their last encounter at the Tournament the extremely nice, comfortable and convenient tournament and it was called Erste Bank Open in Vienna in the final 6–7, 6–3, 6–4. Del Potro took the first set 2 breaks to 1 but Tsonga fought back to take an agonisingly close second set tie break 11–9. However, an early break by Del Potro meant that he would take the match 4–6, 7–6, 3–6. Juan Martin went on to eventually win the tournament, defeating Michael Llodra.
A week after the 2012 Open 13, came the 2012 Dubai Tennis Championships. Because of David Ferrer's decrease in points, Tsonga moved up to World No. 5, a career high for him. As No. 4 seed, Jo-Wilfried faced a tough first round in the shape of Marcos Baghdatis; but after Baghdatis had served for the opening set, Tsonga took the match 7–6, 6–4. The next round was more comfortable as Jo-Wilfried took on the Czech Lukas Rosol and came through 6–3, 6–4 after numerous breaks from each player. Another meeting with Juan Martin Del Potro was set, and Jo was looking to avenge his Marseille loss. Del Potro narrowly took the first set at 7–6, and after two breaks, Del Potro took the second set 6–2.
The first Masters Series of the season, the 2012 BNP Paribas Open was next on the calendar for Tsonga and saw him seeded 6th. A fatigued Michael Llodra retired at 4–1 to Tsonga in his second round match, which set up a third-round encounter with Radek Stepanek. After losing the first set on a tiebreak (7–2), Jo-Wilfried fought back well with some big hitting under the California sun to eventually prevail 6–7(2), 6–3, 6–2. Jo's fourth-round encounter was to be played against Argentian David Nalbandian. The win appeared to be a formality when he held match point at 6–3, 5–4 but after shanking a forehand long, the match slipped away, and David eventually came through 6–3, 5–7, 3–6.
A week later came the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open. Jo's draw seemed favourable heading up to the quarter-finals, and that statement proved true. Veteran Xavier Malisse was Tsonga's first opponent. Short rallies, serve-and-volleying and big shots came as expected, and the Frenchman came through 7–5, 7–5. Another experienced opponent came in the form of Philipp Kohlschreiber. Some solid defensive play as well as some sensational count-attacking led Jo-Wilfried through to a 6–4, 7–6(2) victory. Fellow German Florian Mayer was next up. With one of his more convincing performances, the World No. 5 yet again prevailed without dropping a set – this time 6–3, 6–2. A quarter-final encounter with Rafael Nadal looked to be going the way of the Spaniard in quick time at 6–2, 5–4 and serving. However, some great fighting ability allowed Jo to take 3 games in a row to even the match up. This, though, was not quite enough as Nadal battled to a 2–6, 7–5, 4–6 win.
A 2012 Davis Cup World Group encounter with USA was next up for Tsonga and France. An opening victory against Ryan Harrison 7–5, 6–2, 2–6, 6–2 put France 1–0 up, but after John Isner beat Gilles Simon and the Bryan Brothers defeated Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra, it was up to Jo to level the tie. A tight match went Isner's way in four close sets, 3–6, 6–7(4), 7–5, 3–6. Despite Simon beating Ryan Harrison, the match was still already won. Tsonga and his country were eliminated for another year.
The start of the clay-court Masters run was next at the 2012 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. Yet another match against Philipp Kohlschreiber was set for the second round. A routine 6–2, 6–4 victory followed for Jo-Wilfried. Fernando Verdasco, the then-Spanish number five, was next up. After saving two set points in the opener, the French number one took the match 7–6(7), 6–2. Fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon was Jo's quarter final opponent. A very average performance left Jo-Wilfried eliminated, 5–7, 4–6.
Looking for a ninth career tournament win, Tsonga entered the 2012 BMW Open as the number one seed. German veteran Tommy Haas seemed like a routine second round win. This was not to be as Tommy defeated the Frenchman convincingly, 1–6, 4–6.
The controversial blue clay was the new surface for the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open. This appeared to favour Jo as he always performs to a higher level on the quicker surfaces. A routine 6–2, 7–6(4) win against Ryan Harrison set up an encounter with Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov (who also happened to be Jo's double partner in the event). A close, entertaining match narrowly went the way of the 23 year-old: 5–7, 6–3, 6–7(2).
The 2012 Internazionali BNL d'Italia followed. A solid victory against Serbian number-three Viktor Troicki set the tone for the remainder of the clay-court season. A double-break in each set took Tsonga to a 6–3, 6–2 win. Juan Martin Del Potro, who already had two wins against the Frenchman this year, was his next opponent, whom Tsonga defeated 6–4, 6–1. First seed Novak Djokovic was Tsonga's quarter-final opponent. Despite fighting back from a break down twice, Tsonga lost the first set 5–7. The momentum was then firmly with the Serb, who took the second set 1–6.
Tsonga's French Open 2012 started off in shaky fashion after dropping the first set to Russian qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov. However, he closed out the match 1–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–4. The second round was a peculiar affair with the awkward Cedrik-Marcel Stebe. A simple first set 6–2 was cancelled out by an early second set break where Stebe took the second: 2–6. After a rain delay, Jo managed to regain his form with an eventual 6–2, 4–6, 6–2, 6–1. Italian Fabio Fognini was the Frenchman's third round opponent. This proved far more straightforward as Tsonga raced to a 7–5, 6–4, 6–4 victory. In a repeat of last year's 3rd round, Tsonga faced Swiss number two Stanislas Wawrinka. Jo-Wilfried stormed to a two set lead before, like 2011, letting it slip. Stan took the next two sets but a break before an overnight delay took Tsonga to a dramatic victory: 6–4, 7–6(6), 3–6, 3–6, 6–4 for his first ever Roland Garros quarter-final appearance. This came against world number-one Novak Djokovic. The Frenchman started off extremely poorly going down 1–6 in the first set and then a break down in the second. This break was speedily cancelled out by some classic Tsonga baseline play, and Jo broke again for 7–5. The third set went with serve also, until the twelfth game where Tsonga broke for 7–5. When Tsonga was gifted two match points at 5–4 up off serve and two more at 6–5 off serve, the bout looked to be over. This was not to be the case, though, as Djokovic fought back for a 1–6, 7–5, 7–5, 6–7(6), 1–6 victory.
The grass-court season began with the Aegon Championships. He defeated Britain's Jamie Baker 6–3, 6–2 in the first round but was ousted by Ivan Dodig in three extremely tight sets: 6–7(3), 6–3, 6–7(5). He also seemed to pick up a finger injury that he sustained in the loss after diving for a ball and jarring his little finger.
In the days leading up to Wimbledon, it was announced that a scan revealed a severely sprained as opposed to broken finger, and that Tsonga would compete. A possible first-round test came in the shape of Australian Lleyton Hewitt. However, after a monumental number of aces and forehand winners, Tsonga came through 6–3, 6–4, 6–4. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez came next. After a slow start, Jo made short work of the Spaniard 6–7(3), 6–4, 6–1, 6–3. A court 2 draw with Lukáš Lacko and the elimination of Rafael Nadal (who was projected to be Tsonga's quarter-final opponent) by Lukáš Rosol left Tsonga with a great chance to reach the semi-finals for a second year in a row. He looked certainly on track with a comfortable 6–4, 6–3, 6–3 victory over the Slovak. 10th seed Mardy Fish looked dominant in taking the opening set 4–6. Rain set in, and after the delay, Jo-Wilfried came back looking stronger than his opponent; eventually taking the match 4–6, 7–6(4), 6–4, 6–4. German Philipp Kohlschreiber was Tsonga's quarter-final opponent. The match began evenly with the Frenchman taking it on a tiebreak: 7–6(5). Kohlschreiber, however, fought back to take the second set 4–6. This only fired Jo up more, as he took the match in 4 tight sets: 7–6(5), 4–6, 7–6(3), 6–2. He then faced Andy Murray for a place in the final. This time, Jo-Wilfried looked less confident and weaker against a Scot growing with confidence. Despite managing to fight back to take the third set, Tsonga was ousted by the world number 4: 3–6, 4–6, 6–3, 5–7.
The 2012 London Olympics was next up for Tsonga. A tough first round encounter with Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci was just that. However, with a diving volley on match point, Jo took the match 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4. Yet another harsh draw left the Frenchman playing Milos Raonic in the second round. An early break for Tsonga gave him the first, but in almost identical fashion, Milos broke early in the second for 3-6. The third set was the miracle, though, as the two men held serve for 47 games before Tsonga eventually broke. With a game total of 66, this match became the longest ever (in number of games played) match at the Olympics. Fatigue, surprisingly, didn't appear to affect Jo-Wilfried in the third round. He eased into the quarters 7-6(5), 6-4 against Feliciano Lopez. World number 2 Novak Djokovic was a step too far as Tsonga crashed out 1-6, 5-7.
Throughout the prioritised singles, Tsonga represented France alongside Michael Llodra in the Olympic doubles; seeded second. Argentinians David Nalbandian and Eduardo Schwank were the French pair's first round opponents. Llodra and Tsonga dispatched them comfortably 6-3, 7-5. Experienced doubles player Leander Paes partnered youngster Vishnu Vardhan. Both put in strong performances, but the two Frenchmen came through 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 to face marathon men Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares in the quarter finals. The Brazilians beat Czech pair Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych 24-22 in the third set; just shy of Tsonga's own record. Fatigue shone through, however, as the French pair kept their momentum going, easing to a 6-4, 6-2 victory for a semi-final berth. An extremely tough encounter with Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and David Ferrer was next up. The Frenchmen flew to a 6-3 first set win, but their opponents hit back to take the second 4-6. The final set was a nervy affair. Early breaks were traded, but both teams stood strong. Tsonga and Llodra saved 4 match points before Lopez and Ferrer broke when the French pair were serving for the match. A second chance to serve for the match came at 17-16 though, and the Frenchmen didn't falter this time as they took the match 6-3, 4-6, 18-16. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra were through to the Olympic doubles final to face Number 1 seeds: Mike Bryan and his brother Bob. This match, though, was a step too far as the Americans eased to a 4-6, 6-7(2) victory. The French pair were presented with Olympic silver medals.
Jo-Wilfried's Rogers Cup campaign was an extremely short affair with a second-round loss to fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 4-6, 6-7(4). He also crashed out in the second round during the 2012 US Open, following a defeat to 52nd-ranked Martin Kližan in four sets after pulling out of the 2012 Cincinnati Masters with a knee injury. He had beaten qualifier Karol Beck 6-3, 6-1, 7-6(2) in his opener.
After a short break for recovery, Jo was back in his home country for the 2012 Moselle Open. As first seed, defending champion and an ambassador for the tournament, only a victory was sufficient to fulfil expectations. His tournament began against qualifier Clement Reix. A routine 6-3, 6-3 victory took him to a third-round tie against American Jesse Levine. Multiple exchanges of breaks made for a thrilling match; but Tsonga eventually came through with a 6-3, 6-4 scoreline. A semi-final clash with Russian Nikolay Davydenko looked intriguing. The Frenchman had never beaten Davydenko in two previous attempts, but made sure that run wasn't extended to 3 with a tight, nervy 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 win. Italian Andreas Seppi was standing in the way of a second title of the season for Jo-Wilfried. Jo fired out of the blocks taking a straightforward opening set 6-1. The second was more of the same as Tsonga rushed to a 6-1, 6-2 victory and a ninth ATP Career title.
Tsonga vs. DjokovicEdit
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's most famous rivalry is against Novak Djokovic. They have met 13 times with Djokovic leading 8–5. Their first meeting was in the final of the 2008 Australian Open; Djokovic and Tsonga had defeated the top two players, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in their respective semi-finals in straight sets. Djokovic won this match in four sets to win his first Grand Slam singles title. Tsonga then won their next four meetings, before Djokovic stopped the streak at Miami in 2009.
Their next meeting at a Grand Slam was again at the Australian Open, in the 2010 quarter-finals, exactly two years to the day since Djokovic defeated Tsonga to win his first Grand Slam singles title. However, this time it was Tsonga who prevailed, winning in five sets after Djokovic fell ill during the match. It wouldn't be until another two-and-a-half years until they met again, with the stakes even higher - in the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2011, with the winner advancing to his first Wimbledon final. It was their first meeting on grass, and Djokovic prevailed in four sets, 7–6, 6–2, 6–7, 6–3, to advance to his first Wimbledon final, and in the process ending the seven-and-a-half year reign of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the top of the rankings. At the 2012 French Open, Tsonga and Djokovic met again in an important match, in the quarter-finals. After losing the first set 6–1, Tsonga rallied to take the next two sets, both 7–5, and held two match points at 5–4 on Djokovic's serve in the fourth set before the Serb fought back to force a tie-break. Tsonga again held match points in the tie-break, but lost them, and the set, forcing a deciding set which Tsonga lost 6–1 after being broken twice, losing 6–1, 5–7, 5–7, 7–6, 6–1 after more than four hours of play.
They met again two months later at the Olympics, with Djokovic winning in straight sets, 6–1, 7–5 in the quarter-finals. Their most recent meeting was in the final of the 2012 China Open, with Djokovic once again victorious in straight sets, 7–6, 6–2.
Tsonga is known for his effectively potent serves, as well as having powerful, heavy forehands and having exceptional touch at the net. He has an offensive baseline style of play, but is also able to mix his style of play up by rushing to the net. He is also currently one of the very few remaining players who often utilizes a serve-and-volley type of play. Tsonga's movement around the court is considered to be very good, considering his height. While he has a powerful repertoire of techniques, he has struggled to play consistently at important moments.
Tsonga's serve is one of his Fastest, Strongest And Most Dominant shots, mixing both slice and speed, so enabling him to create and win easier points, such as an ace or a one-two-punch. Because of the action of his serve, which is dramatically abbreviated, he does very well to create as much power as he does, with speeds of up to 140 mph (225 km/h).
To date, Tsonga has achieved his best results on hard courts, most notably at the Australian Open, where he made the final in 2008, the quarter-final in 2009 and the semi-final in 2010 (the Australian Open plays a Plexicushion Prestige surface). In his career on the ATP circuit, the majority of his final appearances have come on hard courts. On grass, he reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2012, and reached the final of the Queen's Club Championships in 2011. In general, Tsonga has struggled on clay, although his clay-court skills are improving, as evidenced by his 2012 season, where he reached the quarterfinals at the French Open, Monte-Carlo, and Rome.
Ground strokes and net-playEdit
Tsonga is known for his aggressive groundstrokes. His forehand and backhand are both effective in setting up points. His powerful, heavy and accurate forehand is his most consistent shot, especially when delivered down the line. Although his backhand is generally not as strong as his forehand during the rallies, he is very capable of hitting attacking shots on his backhand wing. His net play is skillful, especially on attack. He can play both two-handed and one-handed backhand. He added the one-handed backhand into his repertoire midway through 2011; evident in his matches against Murray in the final of Queen's Club and against Federer in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon. Although rarely used as a groundstroke in a neutral rally, it is particularly effective as a passing shot down the line or cross-court.
During the off-season in 2009, Tsonga switched racquets from Wilson to Babolat. He currently uses a customized Babolat endorsed as an AeroPro Drive GT racquet, and strings with LUXiLON Alu Power Rough strings. He is sponsored by Adidas for his attire.
- Main article: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga career statistics
Grand Slam finalsEdit
Singles: 1 (0–1)Edit
|Runner-up||2008||Australian Open||Hard||Template:Flagicon Novak Djokovic||6–4, 4–6, 3–6, 6–7(2–7)|
Doubles: 1 (1 Silver medal)Edit
|Silver||2012||London||Grass||Template:Flagicon Michaël Llodra||Template:Flagicon Bob Bryan|
Template:Flagicon Mike Bryan
Year-end championships finalsEdit
Singles: 1 (0–1)Edit
|Runner-up||2011||London||Hard (i)||Template:Flagicon Roger Federer||3–6, 7–6(8–6), 3–6|
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finalsEdit
Singles: 2 (1–1)Edit
|Winner||2008||Paris||Hard (i)||Template:Flagicon David Nalbandian||6–3, 4–6, 6–4|
|Runner–up||2011||Paris||Hard (i)||Template:Flagicon Roger Federer||1–6, 6–7(3–7)|
Doubles: 1 (1–0)Edit
|Winner||2009||Shanghai||Hard (i)||Template:Flagicon Julien Benneteau||Template:Flagicon Mariusz Fyrstenberg |
Template:Flagicon Marcin Matkowski
ATP career finalsEdit
Singles: 15 (9–6)Edit
|Runner-up||1.||January 31, 2008||Melbourne, Australia||Hard||Template:Flagicon Novak Djokovic||6–4, 4–6, 3–6, 6–7(2–7)|
|Winner||1.||September 28, 2008||Bangkok, Thailand||Hard (i)||Template:Flagicon Novak Djokovic||7–6(7–4), 6–4|
|Winner||2.||November 2, 2008||Paris, France (1)||Hard (i)||Template:Flagicon David Nalbandian||6–3, 4–6, 6–4|
|Winner||3.||February 2, 2009||Johannesburg, South Africa||Hard||Template:Flagicon Jérémy Chardy||6–4, 7–6(7–5)|
|Winner||4.||February 16, 2009||Marseille, France||Hard (i)||Template:Flagicon Michaël Llodra||7–5, 7–6(7–3)|
|Winner||5.||October 5, 2009||Tokyo, Japan||Hard||Template:Flagicon Mikhail Youzhny||6–3, 6–3|
|Runner-up||2.||February 13, 2011||Rotterdam, Netherlands||Hard (i)||Template:Flagicon Robin Söderling||3–6, 6–3, 3–6|
|Runner-up||3.||June 13, 2011||London, United Kingdom||Grass||Template:Flagicon Andy Murray||6–3, 6–7(2–7), 4–6|
|Winner||6.||September 25, 2011||Metz, France (1)||Hard (i)||Template:Flagicon Ivan Ljubičić||6–3, 6–7(4–7), 6–3|
|Winner||7.||October 30, 2011||Vienna, Austria||Hard (i)||Template:Flagicon Juan Martín del Potro||6–7(5–7), 6–3, 6–4|
|Runner-up||4.||November 13, 2011||Paris, France (2)||Hard (i)||Template:Flagicon Roger Federer||1–6, 6–7(3–7)|
|Runner-up||5.||November 27, 2011||London, United Kingdom||Hard (i)||Template:Flagicon Roger Federer||3–6, 7–6(8–6), 3–6|
|Winner||8.||January 7, 2012||Doha, Qatar||Hard||Template:Flagicon Gaël Monfils||7–5, 6–3|
|Winner||9.||September 23, 2012||Metz, France (2)||Hard (i)||Template:Flagicon Andreas Seppi||6–1, 6–2|
|Runner-up||6.||October 7, 2012||Beijing, China||Hard||Template:Flagicon Novak Djokovic||6–7(4–7), 2–6|
Doubles: 7 (4–3)Edit
Singles Performance TimelineEdit
Updated till 2012 US Open (tennis).
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|Australian Open||A||A||A||1R||F||QF||SF||3R||4R||0 / 6||20–6|
|French Open||LQ||1R||A||A||A||4R||4R||3R||QF||0 / 5||12–5|
|Wimbledon||A||A||A||4R||A||3R||QF||SF||SF||0 / 5||19–5|
|US Open||LQ||A||A||3R||3R||4R||A||QF||2R||0 / 5||12–5|
|Win–Loss||0–0||0–1||0–0||5–3||8–2||12–4||12–3||13–4||13–4||0 / 21||63–21|
|ATP World Tour Finals||Did Not Qualify||RR||DNQ||F||0 / 2||4–4|
|Summer Olympics||A||Not Held||A||Not Held||QF||0 / 1||3–1|
|ATP World Tour Masters 1000|
|Indian Wells Masters||A||LQ||A||A||4R||3R||4R||2R||4R||0 / 5||7–5|
|Miami Masters||A||LQ||A||A||3R||QF||QF||3R||QF||0 / 5||11–5|
|Monte Carlo Masters||A||A||A||A||A||A||3R||2R||QF||0 / 3||4–3|
|Rome Masters||A||A||A||A||1R||1R||QF||2R||QF||0 / 5||5–5|
|Madrid Masters1||A||A||A||A||2R||2R||2R||3R||3R||0 / 5||5–5|
|Canada Masters||A||A||A||A||A||SF||A||SF||2R||0 / 3||7–3|
|Cincinnati Masters||A||A||A||A||A||2R||A||2R||A||0 / 2||1–2|
|Shanghai Masters2||A||A||A||A||3R||3R||QF||2R||0 / 4||5–4|
|Paris Masters||2R||A||LQ||2R||W||QF||A||F||1 / 5||12–4|
|Win–Loss||1–1||0–0||0–0||1–1||10–5||11–8||11–6||13–9||10–6||1 / 36||57–36|
|Year End Ranking||163||338||212||43||6||10||13||6|
ATP Tour career earningsEdit
|Year||Majors||ATP wins||Total wins||Earnings ($)||Money list rank|
- ↑ Template:Cite web
- ↑ Stutchbury, Greg. "Tennis-Deflated Tsonga given pummeling by Federer", "Reuters UK Edition" 29 January 2010. Retrieved on 3 September 2010.
- ↑ Template:Cite web
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- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Template:Cite web Template:Dead link
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- ↑ N. Djokovic - J. Tsonga Head to Head Game Statistics, Tennis Tournament Results - Tennis Statistics Wettpoint
- ↑ Djokovic upsets Federer in straight sets - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
- ↑ Battling Djokovic outlasts Tsonga - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
- ↑ Ill Djokovic hands Tsonga victory - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
- ↑ Nadal, Djokovic to face off in final - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
- ↑ French Open 2012: Novak Djokovic reaches semi-finals with thrilling victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - Telegraph
- ↑ London Olympics 2012: Novak Djokovic topples Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to set up Andy Murray clash | London Olympics 2012 News | ESPN.co.uk
- ↑ Djokovic wins third China Open title | Other Sport | BDlive
- ↑ Template:Youtube
- ↑ ATP player profile
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