Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has announced his retirement from tennis, and says he will put down his racquet after this year’s French Open at Roland Garros.
The Frenchman - who has twice reached the semi-finals of his home Grand Slam - says the decision has been a long time coming.
“It’s been several years where every day there is at least one moment where I think, ‘What am I doing? Why am I hurting myself like this? Is there still a reason for me to make all this effort?’”
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“My head tells me ‘but you can play all your life’ and at the same time your body reminds you that your abilities to surpass yourself are no longer there”, he said.
He announced his decision in an intimate video, where he spoke alongside his wife. Tsonga said, “in fact, the ultimate reason is to tell myself that this is the last thrill. In 2024, I won’t be playing anymore and for a few weeks now, I’ve decided that I’ll stop playing tennis at French Open.”
It took me a long time to make this decision
The action gets underway at Roland Garros on May 22nd, and Tsonga hopes it will prove to be the ultimate swan song.
“This will be my fifteenth French Open. Roland Garros is the tournament that best represents everything I have done in my career. I hope that I will stay in shape before and be able to be who I have always been at this tournament”, he said.
“The goal is to be myself, to be Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the tennis player. I like to perform well, I have always wanted to play well.”
“I have always set myself high goals to try to get what I can. For me, this will be the opportunity to do it one last time.”
The former world number five has struggled with injuries in recent years, but knows he will bow out with 18 ATP titles under his belt, and with one last trophy to play for, Tsonga wanted to go out on his terms, before a doctor or physio told him his time was up.
“I decided that I had to stop at a moment that I chose, a moment when I was able to go on the court”, he said.
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