Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is a former French professional tennis player who competed on the ATP Tour from 2004 until 2022 when he retired.

Date of Birth: 17 April 1985
Birthplace: Le Mans, France
Residence: Gingins, Switzerland
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
Weight: 205 lbs (93 kg)
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Turned Pro: 2004

Jo-Wilfred Tsonga was born in Le Mans, France, on April 17, 1985. Growing up, the Frenchman was always heavily influenced by sports, with his dad, Didier, being a professional handball player. It became apparent fairly quickly that he was a talent with a tennis racquet.

Tsonga quickly joined the junior tour in 2000 before eventually reaching a career-high ITF junior singles ranking of world number 2. This success was then backed up by silverware, with the Frenchman claiming the US Open boys’ singles title in 2003.

It was not just in the United States where he saw results, though, as he reached the semi-final in each of the other junior Grand Slams. This paved the way for him to turn pro shortly after in 2004.

After a few years of consolidating his spot amongst the best on the ATP Tour, Tsonga got his first piece of silverware in 2008, winning in Bangkok. This victory opened the floodgates for him, as he consistently won tournaments in the following years, taking his tally up to 18 ATP singles titles all in.

At the Grand Slams, the Frenchman also saw a lot of success, reaching a career-best Australian Open final in 2008, as well as four semi-finals evenly split across the French Open and Wimbledon. His powerful serve and venomous forehand helped him along the way across all surfaces, together with his entertaining playing style, earning him immeasurable popularity across the globe.

The same year that he reached the Wimbledon semi-final in 2012 (losing to eventual 2013 winner Andy Murray), he reached his career-high ranking of number 5 in the world. Outside of the main ATP Tour, he has collected silverware in team events such as the Davis Cup, winning with France in 2017, as well as claiming the Olympic silver medal in doubles at the London 2012 games.

Despite the Frenchman having a more than respectable and glittering career at the very top of the sport, he may consider himself unlucky to have been born in a generation in which his successes were always eclipsed by the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Murray.

The man from Le Mans eventually decided to call time on his career at the 2022 edition of Roland Garros, aged 37. The former pro will always be known as one of the most-loved characters on Tour, with him endearing many of the other players on the professional circuit to his kindness and charm.

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