Former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdraws from Australian Open

Former world no. 5 and 2008 Australian Open runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will not compete in Melbourne next February after failing to recover from an ongoing injury.

Tsonga is training at his All In Tennis Academy, but he is still not ready to embrace competitive matches, and certainly not in the best-of-five format. Struggling with a lower-back injury, Tsonga decided to finish his 2020 duties in mid-September, hitting the practice court and hoping to get back at 100% ahead of the new season. The Frenchman failed to score a win in 2020, losing to Miomir Kecmanovic in Doha and retiring against Alexei Popyrin at the Australian Open, in his last official match so far.

The last year's ATP Comeback player of the year nominee gained 210 positions on the ATP ranking list in 2019, suffering a terrible knee injury in Montpellier in February 2018 and dropping out from the top-100 eight months later for the first time in 12 years! Jo-Wilfried couldn't find the desired rhythm once he returned in the closing stages of the season, raising his level at the beginning of 2019 to reach the Brisbane semi-final and win the title in the emotional return to Montpellier.

Tsonga cracked the top-100 again following the Bordeaux Challenger and reached the Wimbledon third round, losing to Rafael Nadal in straight sets. After an early US Open loss, Tsonga conquered the Cassic Challenger and an ATP title in Metz, securing enough points to crack the top-40 and extend his progress. Jo-Wilfried went even further to enter the top-30 following the quarter-final run at home Masters 1000 event in Paris, wrapping up the season in the selected group for the 11th time in the previous 12 seasons and earning the Comeback player of the year award nomination.

Enduring a challenging 2020 season, Tsonga is eager to get back on the court and extend his career, hoping to make a comeback at the end of February or early March. Tsonga is a former Australian Open finalist, losing to Novak Djokovic in 2008 after a solid effort.

"Despite great progress in recent months, I am still not able to play in competition. In agreement with the medical team, the Australian Open is therefore compromised this year. I am looking forward to getting back on a tennis court, but I have to be patient. Even if not going to Australia this year is a heartbreaker," Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said.

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