‘I Can Be the World No. 1’: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Reveals the Feeling He Had After His Iconic Run at the 2008 Australian Open

Published 05/19/2022, 1:08 AM EDT
Manila Mavericks’ Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France his a return to Micromax Indian Aces’ Gael Monfils of France during their match at the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) in Dubai December 12, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Once the World No. 5, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is today struggling to even cross the first round in tournaments. After being one of the most notable players on the tour for 1.5 decades, it was in 2018 that the downward trend began for the Frenchman. Dealing with a series of injuries, Tsonga is currently ranked 267th in the World. After giving his last shot for a brief time, Tsonga has finally decided to retire from the sport.

Recently, while talking on the ATP Podcast, Tsonga recalled one of the best tournaments of his career, the 2008 Australian Open. Being one of the most promising players of that time, Tsonga beat players like Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal on his way to the finals. Even though he suffered an eventual loss to Novak Djokovic, the 37-year-old has no regrets.

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Tsonga recalls his 2008 Australian Open campaign

Tsonga will retire after the upcoming French Open. Preparing for the last ride of his journey, the Frenchman was recently in Lyon playing the Lyon Open. Entering the tournament as a Wildcard, he suffered a first-round loss to Alex Molcan. Post the loss, he took some time off from his practice schedule for Roland Garros to participate in the ATP Podcast.

Conversing with the Podcast host, Tsonga opened up about his 2008 Australian Open campaign. Recalling the feeling he had post the tournament, Tsonga said, “I used to say was, if maybe I can be the World No. 1 for 800 weeks and win 30 Grand Slams.”

Even though he didn’t win the finals, the tournament was one of the most memorable runs for him. Proving himself frequently, Tsonga today stands as one of the most respected athletes of the sport. Going ahead, he confessed that after all these years, today he is a lucky and a happy guy.

“I did it my way. I enjoyed it. Today, I get what I did. I am just happy with it. I don’t regret anything. Today, I’m just a happy man. I’m really lucky to live this life. Because I know there are so many different ways to live life. I’m one of those guys who are very lucky,” he said.

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Recalling the run of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Australian Open

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had a decent start to his 2008 season. Kicking off his campaign with semifinals in Adelaide and a first-round exit in Sydney, Tsonga next entered the Australian open. He kicked off his Melbourne Park campaign with a win over Andy Murray in the first round. Going ahead, he outplayed Sam Warburg in the second round, and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the third round. Being in a devastating form, he next outplayed fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the fourth round.

Watch this story- The Greatest Comebacks in Tennis

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By the time he reached the quarterfinals, he was one of the top contenders for the title. In the quarterfinals, he outplayed Mikhail Youzhny. Going ahead, he faced one of his biggest competitions, the World No. 2 Rafael Nadal. However, not willing to give up, he outplayed the Spaniard in straight sets. Even though he gave his best in the finals, he was outplayed by the then World No. 3 Novak Djokovic.

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Ahmar Wasif

628 articles

Ahmar Wasif is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is a national level tennis player and has a number of titles to his name. His experience on the court allows him to incorporate a deeper understanding in his coverage of the sport.

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