“The adventure was fabulous” and “I will miss it very much”, declared this Friday on franceinfo the tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The former French number 1 will tread this year 2022 for the last time the clay court of Roland Garros before retiring. A decision “very difficult to take”but at 37, it was time to “hang up the racket” and put an end to a career whose “he loved every moment”. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga counts well on the occasion of his last tournament “to make the most of it”.
Last lap at Roland Garros before retirement for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. A decision “very difficult to make”, which took a few years, confides the French tennis champion. “The most beautiful memory is the globality. I will miss it a lot”. pic.twitter.com/6ALN8370g7
— franceinfo (@franceinfo) May 20, 2022
franceinfo: Ending your career was a difficult decision to make?
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: It was very difficult to take, it took several years, I want to say, the time to realize that it was time to hang up the racquet and say goodbye to this high level tennis that brought so much.
At 37 when the body no longer follows, does it become a fight?
It was obviously a struggle. This is the lot of all top athletes. I’m not the only one going through these times. Afterwards, I negotiated the complicated moments rather well. Each time, I was able to remobilize myself, go back to training, really give back a lot of desire. I did it because I was passionate.
“I loved everything I did. I loved every moment. I’m coming to the end. I have one tournament left and I’ll try to make the most of it.”Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, tennis player
What is your fondest memory?
The most beautiful memory is the globality, it is the whole. It’s very difficult to detach one moment from another. I lived extraordinary moments on the ground or in terms of human relations. The adventure was fabulous. there are many extraordinary people who have accompanied me in these times, sometimes difficult, sometimes sad, sometimes extraordinary. I will still miss it a lot.
You rubbed shoulders with three tennis giants: Nadal, Federer, Djokovic. Between them, they have won more than 60 Grand Slam tournaments. It was a chance to play against them, or do you think that, without them, you could have at least won one?
It would have been a bit more comfortable. I would have been a little less ‘challenged’ maybe I would have won one. It is still a real pride to have been able to play in this generation. They are the three greatest players of all time. There’s no question about that anyway in terms of track records. They allowed me to have an extraordinary career because I had to fight, never give up, try to progress and always look for performance. And it’s true that it will be marked in history anyway, that I would have been one of their challengers.