Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a former Australian Open runner-up and world quantity 5, bid an emotional goodbye to tennis at Roland Garros on Tuesday after dropping within the first spherical to Casper Ruud. The 37-year-old Tsonga, who introduced final month he would retire following the French Open, was crushed 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 7-6 (7/0) by the Norwegian eighth seed. “I hope the world can quickly discover as a lot peace I discovered in the present day. Thanks Roland Garros. Thanks Mister Tennis. I like you,” mentioned Tsonga.
With a brass band blasting out ‘La Marseillaise’ at intervals, Tsonga delighted the gang on Court docket Philippe Chatrier by taking the opening set, however Ruud, who received the Geneva title final week, hit again to say the subsequent two units.
The Frenchman broke for a 6-5 lead within the fourth set however was unable to serve out, instantly calling for the coach earlier than the tie-break and taking a medical timeout for remedy to his proper shoulder.
Ruud comfortably sealed victory in opposition to a visibly ailing Tsonga, who fought again tears earlier than the ultimate level of his 18-year profession.
A video tribute of Tsonga’s profession highlights performed contained in the stadium as pals, household and fellow gamers gathered on courtroom for his retirement ceremony.
Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer — all gamers Tsonga beat at Grand Slams — despatched their well-wishes in a sequence of video messages.
Tsonga, unseeded, misplaced the 2008 Australian Open last to Djokovic because the Serb claimed the primary of his 20 Grand Slam titles.
He made it to the semi-finals twice at each the French Open and Wimbledon and completed runner-up to Federer on the ATP Finals in 2011.
Tsonga earned Olympic silver within the males’s doubles alongside Michael Llodra at London 2012 and was a part of France’s Davis Cup triumph in 2017.
He additionally received two Masters titles — in Paris in 2008 and Toronto in 2014.
Nevertheless, his struggles with various totally different accidents lately has seen his rating tumble to 297.
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