|Born:||17 April, 1985|
|Birthplace:||Le Mans, France|
|Height:||1.88 m (6ft 2 in)|
|Turned pro:||Turned pro|
|Career prize money:||US$5,728,905|
|Highest Ranking:||No. 5 (27 February 2012)|
|Current Ranking:||No. 10 (19 October 2015)|
|Grand Slam results|
|Australian Open:||F (2008)|
|French Open:||4R (2009, 2010)|
|US Open:||4R (2009)|
|Highest Ranking:||No. 33 (26 October, 2009)|
|Current Ranking:||No. 132 (15 August, 2011)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open:||2R (2008)|
|French Open:||1R (2002, 2003, 2009)|
|Last updated on: 17 August, 2011.|
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (born April 17, 1985) is a French professional tennis player. Tsonga has a career high ranking of #5, achieved on February 27, 2012. Born in Le Mans, Tsonga has mixed heritage having a French mother, Évelyne, and a Congolese father, Didier Tsonga, who moved to France in the 1970s to play handball. He has a cousin Charles N'Zogbia who plays football for Wigan Atheltic as a midfielder.
Tsonga recently 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 world No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. Tsonga eventually lost to then world No. 3 Novak Djokovic in the final in 4 sets, after winning the first set, the only set Djokovic dropped during the 2008 Australian Open.
Both of his parents now work as teachers in France. Tsonga also has an older sister, Sasha, and a younger brother, Enzo, who is a part of the French junior basketball program.
Players on the ATP circuit have nicknamed Tsonga "the Muhammad Ali of Tennis" due to his striking resemblance to Muhammad Ali, who is one of his heroes. Tsonga is coached by compatriot Éric Winogradsky.
2008 Australian OpenEdit
At the 2008 Australian Open, Tsonga defeated #14 seed Mikhail Youzhny, #9 seed Andy Murray, #8 seed Richard Gasquet, and #2 seed Rafael Nadal to reach the final. In doing so, Tsonga became the first player to reach his first-ever ATP-level final at a Grand Slam event since Gustavo Kuerten (1997 French Open). He then lost the final to #3 seed Novak Djokovic in four sets, 4–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–6(2).
Tsonga had a successful junior career, winning the U.S. Open Juniors title in 2003 by defeating Marcos Baghdatis in the final, and also reached the semi-final stage of the other three Grand Slam events.
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 reinjuring of an abdominal injury at the end of 2006. In all, he only played 8 tournaments over that span of years.
In January 2007, he received a wild card into the 2007 Australian Open, where in only his second senior Grand Slam match he met up with sixth seed Andy Roddick. Tsonga's singles rank at the time was #212 and, in the longest tiebreaker in Australian Open history, he defeated Roddick in the first set (20-18). Tsonga forced a tiebreaker in the second, losing it and taking only two points, and went on to lose the match 6–7 (18), 7–6 (2), 6–3, 6–3. At the time, he was 21 years old.
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 scored victories in 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 number one Lleyton Hewitt, ranked #16 in the ATP rankings. Tsonga won the match after two tiebreakers, 7–6 (5), 7–6 (2), to seal his most prominent victory since his triumph over Carlos Moya, then ranked #6 in the world, at Beijing in 2004. However, suffering from fatigue, Tsonga went on to lose to promising Croatian youngster Marin Čilić in the following round.
At Wimbledon 2007, where he was again awarded a wild card, he reached the fourth round (his first time past round one of a Slam), defeating Julien Benneteau, Nicolas Lapentti, and Feliciano López. His run was halted by his countryman and friend, 12th seed (14th-ranked) Richard Gasquet, in straight sets 6–4, 6–3, 6–4. He did not beat a seed in coming to the fourth round (Andy Murray, the potential seed he would have faced, had dropped out). The win brought his ranking up from #110 to #74, his first time inside the top 75.
Then at the 2007 U.S. Open, Tsonga defeated Óscar Hernández 7–5, 6–1, 6–3 in the first round before beating Tim Henman 7–6(2), 2–6, 7–5, 6–4, which resulted in Henman's last Grand Slam match. He then lost to an injured number two Rafael Nadal 7–6(3), 6–2, 6–1.
The 2007 Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon tournament started strong for Tsonga. He did not drop a set, beating Vincent Spadea and winning against fourth seed and friend Richard Gasquet (who beat him at Wimbledon) 6–4, 6–4, and then defeating Olivier Rochus. He then lost 6–1, 6–2 to compatriot Sébastien Grosjean. He partnered up with Grosjean, however, in men's doubles, where the team was honored a wildcard. In the first round, the team beat Julien Benneteau and Michaël Llodra, both compatriots and top seeds, 2–6, 6–4 before a retirement. 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 skyrocket over 150 ranking spots into the top 50. Tsonga began 2007 ranked 212 in the world, and in early July climbed into the top 100 at 74. In October, Tsonga climbed into the top 50 for the first time in his career, finishing the year ranked number 43 in the world. Tsonga's year-end 169 ranking spots climb was the highest of any player ranked inside the top 75.
Starting his 2008 season, Tsonga played and won a singles match at the 2008 Next Generation Adelaide International. He defeated Victor Hanescu 6–3, 4–6, 7–5. He 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 semi-finals to Jarkko Nieminen, the third seed, 6–2, 6–4. In doubles, Tsonga and Sébastien Grosjean lost to Florian Mayer and Chris Haggard, 2–6, 7–6 (6), [10-6], in the first round.
Tsonga played doubles in the Sydney Medibank International with friend Richard Gasquet. The French compatriots teamed to become a formidable combination, scoring a major upset in the finals over world number one duo Bob and Mike Bryan (4–6, 6–4, 11-9). The French pair came back from two match points down to win the championship and denied the Bryan brothers from winning the tournament.
Tsonga began his 2008 Australian Open campaign with a tough first round match against 9th seed Andy Murray. Tsonga defeated the Scot 7–5, 6–4, 0–6, 7–6(5), setting up a clash with American qualifier Sam Warburg in the second round. After easily defeating Warburg in straight sets, Tsonga advanced to the third round, where he was victorious over Spaniard Guillermo García López 6–3, 6–4, 6–2. In the fourth round, Tsonga defeated compatriot Richard Gasquet 6–2, 6–7(5), 7–6(6), 6–3.
In the quarterfinals, Tsonga played Russia's Mikhail Youzhny, who came into the quarterfinal showdown riding 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 defeat the number two seed Rafael Nadal, 6–2, 6–3, 6–2 to complete back-to-back straight set victories over heavily favored opponents. Tsonga's semi-final performance was characterized by his powerful and precise serve, finesse volleys, and aggressive baseline play. Tsonga did not face a break point until the third set while breaking the Spaniard five times in the match. 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.
Tsonga was beaten by Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open in a very competitive match, 4–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–6(7–2). Following the tournament, Tsonga saw his ranking climb to a career high number 18 in the world. Tsonga would then compete at the Indian Wells Masters. He reached the 4th round, but lost to defending champion Rafael Nadal in 3 tight sets 6–7, 7–6 7–5. Following the tournament, Tsonga saw his ATP ranking climb again to a new career high number 12 in the world.
Tsonga has pulled out of the French Open because of a knee problem that has lasted for several months. This knee injury made him pull out of the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup, France vs. United States. He will undergo knee surgery that will put him out for a few more months.
After his recent success at the 2008 Australian Open in Melbourne, by being runner-up to Novak Djokovic he received the second prize of AU$685,000 (US$598,869.60). This amount sums up to more than his total career earnings before the match.