Gilles Simon Reveals Why Jo Wilfried Tsonga Did Not Win a Slam with Federer, Nadal and Djokovic

Published 12/07/2020, 7:30 AM EST
PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 29: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France reacts during his men’s singles match against Pablo Andujar of Spain on day six of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on May 29, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


France has produced many tennis players over the years, including Jo Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon, Gael Monfils, and Richard Gasquet. These players have managed to break into the ‘top 10′ at some point during their careers. The French tennis federation deserves credit for these players’ development. 

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Unfortunately, amongst this talented crop of players, only Tsonga has come the closest to winning a Slam. He had an amazing run at the Australian Open in 2008. He fell short in the final, losing to Novak Djokovic, who won his first-ever major.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – APRIL 14: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France plays a forehand return during his match against Lucas Pouille of France during day five of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2016 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Jo Wilfried Tsonga came the closest to winning a Slam

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Recently, while speaking about Tsonga’s career, Gilles Simon Gilles said, “Jo was the closest of all of us to win a grand slam. He made final, several halves, he beat the best but could not beat 3 in a row.

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(Quotes have been translated)

If Tsonga had any weaknesses in his game, it was his backhand. Throughout his career, Jo has been often criticized for being weak on the backhand. Giles felt the constant criticism did take an effect on Tsonga’s performances. He added, “You’re suggesting that if Jo had worked his backhand more he would have won a grand slam. And I tell you no. Moreover, he has never been so close to winning a grand slam as in 2008 against Djoko, with the setback he had at the time. What was it? One point, one volley. So, was the backhand really the problem? I think we weakened him by focusing on his weak shot. When you work on a weak point, on which you progress less quickly, it erodes confidence.”

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Regardless of his backhand, Tsonga has entertained fans with some amazing performances over the course of his prime years. He has won two ATP Masters 1000 titles and has been a 2-time semi-finalist at the French Open and Wimbledon. He’s even achieved the highest ranking of being the number 5 in the world. 

 

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Rohan Kollare

1063 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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