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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Jo-Wilfried TsongaJo-Wilfried TsongaJo-Wilfried TsongaJo-Wilfried TsongaJo-Wilfried Tsonga

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, born in Le Mans, France on April 17, 1985, is a professional tennis player. He was born to a French mother, Évelyne, and a Congolese father, Didier, 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 February 27, 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 then world number two Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. Tsonga eventually lost to the then 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 2011 Wimbledon Championships.

He also reached the final of the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals where he lost to five-time and defending champion Roger Federer. 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 as a junior. He also has an elder sister named Sasha who is less involved with sporting ventures. His football cousins are Charles N'Zogbia who currently plays for Aston Villa F.C and Maël Lépicier who plays for the Congo. 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 9 in the world and won the US Open title. He reached 3 other semi-finals of junior grand slam events. Marcos Baghdatis was a rival of Tsonga's in the junior stage. Tsonga had a successful junior career, winning the US Open Juniors title in 2003 by defeating Marcos Baghdatis in the final, and also reached the semifinals 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 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 wildcard 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 eighteen 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. At the French Open in Paris in June 2012 he finally succumbed to number 1 seed Novak Djokovic in the quarter finals after an on court battle that lasted about 4 1/2 hours.

In an interview during the French Open Tsonga was asked why he always seems to be happy and enjoying himself. His response was to the effect that with people facing starvation in the world, there is good reason for him to be happy with a smile on his face. When asked how it felt to have 15,000 French chanting his name courtside, his response was that it "made him tingle all over..."

More at: www.jowiltsonga.fr

source: www.wikipedia.org


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