Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Petsonga (born April 17, 1985) is a professional tennis player. A French citizen, born in Le Mans, he has a French mother and Congolese father, Didier Tsonga. His career high ranking was #38, achieved on January 7, 2008. He had a successful junior career, winning the U.S. Open Juniors title in 2003 by defeating Marcos Baghdatis in the final, and also reached the semi-final stage of the other 3 Grand Slam events. At the 2007 Australian Open, Tsonga took the first set off Andy Roddick in a twenty points to eighteen tiebreak. Tsonga has victories over former number one players Carlos Moyà and Lleyton Hewitt, and he defeated former top ten players Mikhail Youzhny, Richard Gasquet, and Andy Murray in his last Grand Slam.
In January, 2007 he received a wild card into the 2007 Australian Open, where in only his second senior Grand Slam match he met up with sixth seed Andy Roddick. Tsonga's singles rank at the time was number 212 and — in the longest tiebreaker in Australian Open history — he defeated Roddick in the first set (20-18). Tsonga forced a tiebreaker in the second, losing it and taking only two points, and went on to lose the match 6-7 (18), 7-6 (2), 6-3, 6-3. At the time, he was just 21 years of age.
So far in 2007 he has won 4 Challenger titles in Tallahassee, Mexico City, Lanzarote and Surbiton. Tsonga qualified for the 2007 Queen's Club Championships while at the same time playing in the Surbiton Challenger, which he won. Between the two events, he scored victories in 5 matches in the space of 2 days. In the second round of the Queen's main draw he met the sixth seed and defending champion, former world number one Lleyton Hewitt, ranked 16 in the ATP rankings. Tsonga won the match after two tiebreakers, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2), to seal his most prominent victory since his triumph over Carlos Moya, then ranked 6th in the world, at Beijing in 2004. However, suffering from fatigue, Tsonga went on to lose to promising Croatian youngster Marin ?ili? in the following round.
At Wimbledon 2007, where he was again awarded a wild card, he reached the 4th round (his first time past round 1 of a Slam), defeating Julien Benneteau, Nicolas Lapentti, and Feliciano López. His run was halted by his countryman and friend, 12th seed (14th-ranked) Richard Gasquet, in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. He did not beat a seed in coming to the fourth round. (A potential seed he would have faced had dropped out.) The win brought his ranking up from #110 to #74, his first time inside the top 75.
Then at the 2007 U.S. Open, Tsonga defeated Óscar Hernández 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 in the first round before beating Tim Henman 7-6 (2), 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, which resulted in Henman's last Grand Slam match. He then lost to an injured number two Rafael Nadal 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-1.
The 2007 Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon tournament started strong for Tsonga. He did not drop a set, beating Vincent Spadea and avenging fourth seed Richard Gasquet (who beat him at Wimbledon) 6-4, 6-4, then defeating Olivier Rochus. He then, however, lost 6-1, 6-2 to compatriot Sébastien Grosjean. He combined with Grosjean, however, in men's doubles, where the team was honored a wildcard. In the first round, the team beat Julien Benneteau and Michaël Llodra, both compatriots and top seeds, 2-6, 6-4 before a retirement. The team defeated compatriots Fabrice Santoro and Gilles Simon in the quarterfinals and third seeds and also compatriots Arnaud Clément and Nicolas Mahut in the semifinals. Tsonga won his first doubles title and Grosjean won his first doubles title in three years by defeating ?ukasz Kubot and Lovro Zovko in the final 6-4, 6-3.
Starting his 2008 season, sixth-seeded Tsonga survived a thriller singles match at the 2008 Next Generation Adelaide International. He defeated Victor Hanescu 6-3, 4-6, 7-5. He scored comfortable, straight sets victories over his next two opponents, defeating Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-2, and Lleyton Hewitt (the top seed) 6-4, 6-2. However, he fell in the semi-finals to Jarkko Nieminen, the third seed, 6-2, 6-4. In doubles, Tsonga and Sébastien Grosjean lost to Florian Mayer and Chris Haggard, 2-6, 7-6 (6), [10-6], in the first round.
Tsonga played in the Sydney Medibank International with Richard Gasquet in the doubles final, scoring a major upset over world number one duo Bob and Mike Bryan (4-6, 6-4, 11-9). The French combination came back from two match points down to win the championship and denying the Bryan brothers ever winning the tournament.
Tsonga started his 2008 Australian Open campaign with a tough draw against 9th seed Andy Murray. Tsonga defeated the Brit in four sets, which set up a clash with American qualifier Sam Warburg in the second round. After easily defeating of Warburg, Tsonga made it to the fourth round with victory over Spaniard Guillermo García López. In the fourth round, Tsonga defeated compatriot Richard Gasquet 6-2 6-7(5) 7-6(6) 6-3. In the quarterfinals,Tsonga upset Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 6-0, 7-6. He will go on to play the number 2 seed Rafael Nadal, who has yet to drop a set at the 2008 Australian Open.
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