Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have paid tribute to the "charismatic" Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after the 37-year-old brought his 18-year professional career to a close.

Tsonga, who reached a career-high ranking of world number five in 2012, confirmed in April that he would retire at the culmination of his French Open campaign.

That duly came in the first round on Tuesday as he bowed out to world number eight Casper Ruud 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-6 (7-0).

He retires having won, according to Opta, 464 Tour-level matches since September 2004.

Tsonga is one of just three players, along with Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro, to have beaten Nadal, Federer and Djokovic while they were ranked world number one.

He is also one of three players, alongside Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych, who have defeated Nadal, Federer and Djokovic at grand slams.

A video tribute was played on court after his defeat to Ruud, which featured messages from the sport's most iconic players.

Federer said: "I wanted to congratulate you on an amazing career and it was a pleasure to share the court with and play against you, even to lose against you!

"We had some great battles. Enjoy the moment in Paris with all your friends and family, in front of all your adoring spectators."

Djokovic added: "Jo is one of the most charismatic tennis players ever to play the game. I was very happy to share the court with him many times.

"We get along well and he's a really nice guy. He brought a lot of positive attention and popularity to our sport not just because of his dynamic game style, but also his charisma and his personality, so it's a big loss for professional men's tennis to have him retire.

"I wish him all the best, and he definitely should be happy about his career and his achievements. He's made his mark and his legacy in our sport."

Nadal said: "He is very charismatic. I've known him since we were kids; he is a good guy and I think he brings a lot of positive things to our sport so I'm sad to see him going but we are getting old so it's going to happen for everyone."

Speaking at a media conference after his defeat, Tsonga said he would now spend some time relaxing before focusing on the development of his tennis academy.

He said he will miss the adrenaline of playing on court, as well as how he was able to express himself completely when competing.

"It's adrenaline, to step onto a big court like this one," he said. "It's adrenaline you can feel when you have 15,000 people shouting out your name, supporting you on the court.

"This is what I'm going to miss – the contact with the crowd. And with those who have been supporting me for all these years.

"You know, in real life, it's sometimes difficult to be intense. You don't want to shock, you don't want to be too rude, you don't want to hurt somebody.

"You always try to act to be nice, to be sociable. But, you know, on the court, you can express your fever. You can express everything about you, and it's sometimes freeing."

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga brought his 18-year professional career to a close on Tuesday, after his first-round loss to Casper Ruud at the French Open.

Tsonga, who reached a high ranking of world number five, confirmed in April that he would retire at the culmination of his French Open campaign.

For the 37-year-old, that was short-lived, as he bowed out to world number eight Ruud.

Tsonga gave it his all, taking the lead and forcing a tie-break in three of the four sets, but Ruud had too much and prevailed 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-6 (7-0).

That confirmed the end of Tsonga's long career. He bows out having won, according to Opta, 464 Tour-level matches since September 2004.

Tsonga is one of just three players, along with Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro, to have beaten Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic while they were ranked world number one.

He is also one of three players (also Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych) who have defeated Nadal, Federer and Djokovic at grand slams.

Tsonga also became the first player since Guillermo Canas in 2002 to defeat four straight top-10 players at a Masters 1000 tournament when he triumphed in Toronto in 2014.

"It's tough for me and all the players that you're stopping. You've been an inspiration to me and so many of the other players, so thank you for the memories," Ruud told Tsonga after the match.

"[I have] so many good memories watching Jo on TV. He's such a great guy [and] nice person on and off the court. He's a good example of what a player should be."

The 2022 French Open will provide Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with a final opportunity to shine in front of a home crowd after the 36-year-old confirmed his impending retirement.

Tsonga has suffered with injuries over recent seasons and has managed just two ATP Tour match wins so far in 2022.

The Frenchman reached a high ranking of world number five and finished as runner-up at the 2008 Australian Open.

He never won a grand slam but did reach five more major semi-finals. Tsonga has collected 18 singles titles on the ATP Tour, including two Masters 1000 crowns in Paris (2008) and Toronto (2014). His last triumph came in 2019 in Metz.

"It is with great emotion that I announce today my decision to stop my professional career at the next French Open," Tsonga wrote on social media.

"So many incredible moments, so much joy shared with a public that gave me a lot. Hoping for one last thrill with you!"

In a video accompanying his announcement, Tsonga said: "The goal is to be myself, to be Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the tennis player.

"I hope that I will stay in shape before and be able to be who I have always been at this tournament.

"I have always set myself high goals to try to get what I can. For me, this will be the opportunity to do it one last time."

Yannick Noah (69.6 per cent) is the only Frenchman to have a higher winning percentage in tour-level matches than Tsonga (66.5).

Denis Shapovalov crashed out of the Qatar Open after losing in straight sets to France's Arthur Rinderknech in their quarter-final on Thursday.

The top-seeded Canadian lost in just an hour and 20 minutes as Rinderknech sealed a 6-4 6-4 victory to seal his place in the semi-finals in Doha.

Shapovalov struggled throughout, making nine double faults and having to face 10 break points, of which he managed to save eight.

Rinderknech will now face Nikoloz Basilashvili after the Georgian fought back to beat Marton Fucsovics 1-6 6-3 7-5.

The other semi-final will see Karen Khachanov take on Roberto Bautista Agut, with the Russian also coming from a set down in beating Marin Cilic 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Bautista Agut followed up Wednesday's 6-0 6-1 victory against Andy Murray by again winning comfortably against fellow Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, scoring a 6-1 6-1 success.

The number two seed won 74 per cent of points when landing his first serve as he sealed victory in an hour and 17 minutes.

At the Open 13 in Marseille, Rotterdam champion Felix Auger-Aliassime increased his winning streak to six matches after beating French veteran Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 to head through to the quarter-finals.

"It was a special moment," Auger-Aliassime said after his win. "When the match was coming to the end, I knew it was going to be a special moment, a full-circle moment. He was my top idol growing up and I saw myself in him at times."

Auger-Aliassime will play world number 49 Ilya Ivashka next, while top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas also went through after a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win against Hugo Gaston. The Greek star will play Russian Roman Safiullin in the last eight.

Ninth seed Benjamin Bonzi beat fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-3 and will go up against Aslan Karatsev in the next round, while Lucas Pouille overcame Radu Albot 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-2) and will tackle Andrey Rublev next.

Hubert Hurkacz bounced back from a disappointing Australian Open campaign with a straight-sets win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Fourth seed Hurkacz, who was beaten in the second round in Melbourne by Adrian Mannarino, saw off wildcard Tsonga 6-4 7-6 (9-7) in one hour and 32 minutes.

"Jo is an amazing player and competitor," Hurkacz said of the former world number five.

"He brought a really high level and it was a really tough match for me and he is definitely on the way back.

"Jo has achieved so much in his career and playing against him you can see why with his shots and his serve. I appreciated playing him and I am happy with the win today."

World number 11 Hurkacz will face either Lorenzo Musetti or Mikael Ymer in the second round.

Sixth seed Cameron Norrie overcame Ugo Humbert 6-2 6-4, while eighth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili was dumped out by American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3 6-2.

McDonald will face Alex de Minaur in the next round after the Australian swatted aside David Goffin 6-0 6-3.

"I think I played really well," De Minaur said. "I played exactly how I wanted to. My coach and I set up a plan about how we wanted to play this match and I managed to execute it.

"It is a very good feeling. Mentally I thought I was very solid and positive and that is one of the main aspects I am trying to focus on this year."

 

Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner have been replaced by Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the upcoming Rotterdam Open.

World number two Medvedev lost a thrilling five-set Australian Open final to Rafael Nadal on Sunday and does not feel ready to compete in the Netherlands.

The Russian explained his decision in a statement on Thursday, while Sinner has had to pull out due to COVID-19.

"Unfortunately I will not play in Rotterdam this year," Medvedev said. 

"I just got back from Australia and am not ready to compete. Rotterdam is one of the favourite stops. I look forward to coming back in the future."

Roberto Bautista Agut and Borna Coric had already pulled out of the competition. Tournament director Richard Krajicek has confirmed that Murray and Tsonga, who won the event in 2009 and 2017 respectively, will now take part as wild cards.

Andrey Rublev is the reigning champion in Rotterdam after beating Marton Fucsovics in last year's final.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga savoured a "fantastic" win as the veteran Frenchman showed in Montpellier there might still be life left in his career.

Ranked 259th by the ATP after two injury-blighted years, the former world number five scored his first main-tour singles victory since last March in Marseille as he beat Poland's Kacper Zuk at the Open Sud de France on Tuesday.

Tsonga battled for a 6-4 6-4 victory in the first round, and the 36-year-old, who has battled back and leg problems, said: "It's just amazing for me to be here on the court playing.

"For me, the goal is to have fun again, to find a level where I can beat great players again."

The former Australian Open runner-up competed last week at a Challenger Tour event, while the first grand slam of the year was carrying on without him in Melbourne.

He abandoned his 2021 campaign after a first-round loss at Wimbledon, where he was beaten in five sets by Sweden's Mikael Ymer.

Quoted on the ATP website after his return to winning ways, Tsonga said: "I had a few difficult months and to win like this for one of my first matches of the year, it's just fantastic for me.

"You cannot do it without the people around you. I have the chance to have very good people around me, and it gave me the opportunity to live some moments like this."

Qualifier Gilles Simon saw off wildcard Lucas Pouille 7-6 (7-4) 5-7 6-4 in a battle of two French compatriots of Tsonga who are both fellow former top-10 tour stars.

Other winners on Tuesday in Montpellier included Serbian Filip Krajinovic, who will face Tsonga on Wednesday, plus Ymer and France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

At the Tata Open Maharashtra, staged in the Indian city of Pune, seeds Emil Ruusuvuori and Stefano Travaglia both came through their opening tests. Ruusuvuori beat Egor Gerasimov 6-0 7-6 (13-11), while Travaglia was pushed hard by India's Ramkumar Ramanathan, eventually scraping through 7-6 (9-7) 4-6 6-3.

Feliciano Lopez reached the milestone of 500 ATP Tour wins with a comeback victory over Karen Khachanov at the Mallorca Championships.

Lopez, who turns 40 in September, prevailed 4-6 6-2 6-4 against the sixth seed.

He is the 10th active player to reach 500 wins, after Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet, Fernando Verdasco, Marin Cilic, Stan Wawrinka and Tommy Robredo.

"More than the 500 wins, the important thing to me is the chance to keep playing in these kinds of tournaments and to keep being competitive," Lopez told ATPTour.com.

"I didn’t expect to be able to play at the level I am on the ATP Tour at 40 years of age, which I will be in September."

Spanish veteran Lopez would have expected to be taking on Dominic Thiem next, but the world number five retired due to a wrist injury when 5-2 to the good in the opening set against Adrian Mannarino.

"It's nice for me to be in the quarter-finals, but winning this way is not so cool. I really like Dominic, he's such a nice guy and I hope he will be feeling better soon," Mannarino said. "I hope it is not so serious, especially right before Wimbledon."

Elsewhere on the Balearic island, top seed Daniil Medvedev breezed past Corentin Moutet 6-4 6-2, while Casper Ruud defeated Tennys Sandgren in straight sets.

At the Viking International in Eastbourne, there were mixed fortunes for Lopez's countrymen Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Fokina, seeded sixth, saw off Mikael Ymer 7-5 6-1, but number seven seed Ramos-Vinolas fell 6-4 6-3 to Emil Ruusuvuori.

Alexander Bublik defeated fellow Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin is straight sets, while Jo-Wilfred Tsonga went down in similar fashion against Egor Gerasimov.

Dan Evans is putting friendship aside after earning a blockbuster showdown against returning superstar Roger Federer at the Qatar Open.

Federer has not played competitively since his semi-final exit at the 2020 Australian Open – the 20-time grand slam champion having undergone knee surgery last year.

But the 39-year-old Swiss great will make his long-awaited comeback against Evans in Doha on Wednesday.

Evans – who has been practicing with Federer – outlasted Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4 1-6 6-2 in the round of 32 at the ATP 250 tournament.

"We obviously practised for [the] past two weeks [in Dubai], and I thought he was playing pretty well," Evans said. "We played plenty of sets. It was competitive. But it's all very different when you get on the match court.

"It will be a lot different tomorrow. It's going to be at night, as well, so a little slower. So we'll see how the match goes."

Second seed Federer – a record three-time Qatar Open champion – watched from the stands on Tuesday and Evans added: "He obviously has seen a lot of my game the past few weeks, so I guess I would say it was more out of boredom.

"He's probably [was] waiting for his practice [more] than scouting out what's happening on the court. Let's put it down to that."

Elsewhere, sixth seed David Goffin topped Filip Krajinovic 6-4 6-4 en route to the last 16 but three-time slam champion Stan Wawrinka was stunned 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (6-8) 7-5 by qualifier Lloyd Harris.

Marton Fucsovics, Vasek Pospisil and Malek Jaziri also advanced through to the next round.

At the Open 13 Province, three-time champion and French veteran Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrated his first ATP Tour victory since 2019.

Tsonga – hampered by injuries, including left knee surgery –rallied from the brink to see off Feliciano Lopez 3-6 6-4 7-5 in Marseille on Tuesday.

"This is probably one of the best victories of my career, because it was tough for me to play tennis. I had so much pain for so many months," Tsonga said in an on-court interview. "Today, I won one match. That was one of my goals for these few weeks… I’m happy like a kid."

Next up is fourth-seeded countryman Ugo Humbert, who upstaged sixth seed Kei Nishikori 6-1 6-4.

Meanwhile, Federico Coria and Federico Delbonis were among the victors at the Chile Open.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga suffered defeat in his first match since last year's Australian Open as he was beaten in straight sets by Sebastian Korda at the Open Sud de France.

Tsonga last played in the first round in Melbourne last January, when he retired from his clash with Alexei Popyrin, owing to a back injury.

And the former Australian Open finalist was unable to make it a winning return at a tournament where he lifted the trophy in 2019.

Korda eased to a 6-4 6-2 win, with the only home success of the day coming from Ugo Humbert while Lorenzo Sonego saw off Hugo Gaston.

Popyrin, who stunned David Goffin in the first round at this year's Australian Open, was a winner over Christopher Eubanks at the Singapore Tennis Open.

Lloyd Harris beat Popyrin in the second round in Melbourne, but they will not meet again in this tournament after the South African was undone by wild card Adrian Andreev.

Yoshihito Nishioka, Maxime Cressy and Taro Daniel also prevailed.

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