PARIS: Former Australian Open runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga announced Wednesday he will retire after the French Open, hoping to put the final touches on an injury-plagued career in front of his home crowd.
The 36-year-old Frenchman reached a career-high ranking of No. 5 in 2012, but has dropped to No. 220 following his latest lengthy injury layoff. That means he can’t enter the main draw at Roland Garros automatically through his ranking, and will have to rely on being granted a wild-card entry by organisers.
Tsonga is the first member of a gifted generation of French players that emerged nearly 20 years ago — which also includes Gaël Monfils, Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon — to call it quits.
“This is the last thrill,” Tsonga said in a video. “This will be my 15th Roland. I hope that I will stay fit before and be able to be the one I have always been in that tournament.”
Tsonga reached the semifinals twice at the French Open, in 2013 and 2015.
He has won 18 ATP titles and made it to the Australian Open final in 2008, losing to Novak Djokovic. He earned a combined 16 wins against the Big Three of Roger Federer (6), Rafael Nadal (4) and Djokovic (6).
In 2017, he also helped France win its first Davis Cup title in 16 years. But injuries have hindered Tsonga recently. The Frenchman underwent left knee surgery in 2018 and was then hampered by back problems.
The French Open starts on May 22 in Paris.