Published on : 02/14/2022 – 16:24Modified : 02/14/2022 – 16:23
Marseilles (AFP) – At 36 and after 4 years suffering from accidents, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is contemplating retirement in his personal approach: “I still want to have a good time on the pitch and plan my exit”, he assures AFP earlier than getting into the operating on Tuesday on the Open 13 in Marseille.
Now right down to 243rd on the planet, the previous N.5 will face his buddy from the French Davis Cup group Gilles Simon on Tuesday night, for his sixth match of the season.
Eliminated within the 2nd spherical of the Challenger (2nd division) in Quimper, then within the 2nd spherical of the ATP 250 in Montpellier by pushing the thirty sixth on the planet Filip Krajinovic to the tie-break of the 2nd set, and within the 1st spherical of the ATP 500 in Rotterdam by shedding there additionally within the tie-break (9/7) in opposition to the eleventh world Hubert Hurkacz, Tsonga is bodily match however just isn't but glad with his recreation.
“From my point of view, it's not there yet, but I'm very happy because there has been an evolution and as the matches progress, I feel that the automatic mechanisms are getting back in place. Physically I am more and more liberated, I continue to progress”, he analyzes.
“I try to play as much as possible, I don't calculate: if I have to go and play a Challenger to play matches, I go there because I know very well that there are only replaying matches and making the most of points and real match situations that I will continue to improve. Especially since in four years, I have played one year… and that's not a lot”, underlines- he.
After the Marseille match, of which he's the principle shareholder, Tsonga is engaged within the Challenger de Pau. Then we'll see.
His physique has given him virtually no respite lately: along with an underlying sickle cell illness (genetic illness affecting purple blood cells and inflicting nice fatigue), he suffered from knees, vertebrae, sacral joint iliac which calcified, forcing him to surrender within the 1st spherical of the Australian Open in 2020. He resumed the 2021 season solely in dotted traces on the finish of February in Montpellier earlier than ending it on a defeat within the 1st spherical at Wimbledon.
No ache, however restrictions
But at the moment, “I have no more pain and it's extraordinary”, welcomes Tsonga.
“On the opposite hand, I've restrictions associated to my accidents since you do not come out unscathed from a double herniated disc, you do not come out unscathed from an operation on every knee, you do not come out unscathed from a joint which froze”, he underlines.
The ensuing lack of mobility forces him to compensate and modify sure issues in his recreation, which is what he must play matches for.
So what's his aim? The identical that he had set for himself in 2019: “Return to a good level to regain pleasure and leave with your head held high”, he explains.
“I could very well have said to myself + I'm quitting + when I gave up in Australia in 2020. I could have said to myself + It's okay, I've worked hard enough for a year to come back, I came back and I'm recovering badly… The doctors don't know how long I have it, it can last 6 months or 5 years + I hesitated a lot, but I wanted to give myself a chance to stop my head a little high and playing tennis correctly. It's a challenge that I set myself: to stop but at a time when I decided, at a time when I am able to play at a certain level, “says Tsonga.
With his expertise, he doesn't permit himself to be lulled into certainties concerning the realization of this challenge. But he nonetheless has a robust and guiding need: “To have a good time on the pitch and plan my outing.”
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