Former world No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has revealed that for the moment his goal is to prove to himself that he is still able to play a good level of tennis.
Tsonga, now ranked at No. 83 in the world, has been hampered by injuries in recent years and he has been struggling to produce a good level of tennis.
In 2018, Tsonga was out for seven months due to a knee surgery and last year he played only two matches due to back issues.
“I think the goal for the moment is to prove to myself that I’m able to still play a good level of tennis,” Tsonga told the ATP website.
Tsonga has a 1-6 record on the Tour in 2021.
His lone victory came earlier this year in Marseille, when he beat Feliciano Lopez in his opener.
“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 on court after the match. “Today, I won one match. That was one of my goals for these few weeks… I’m happy like a kid.”
Tsonga still plays because he loves tennis
“What I’ve been through the past couple of months was really challenging and when you play tennis, it’s because you like tennis,” Tsonga told ATPTour.com. “For me, it’s already a big challenge to be able to play good matches and to be able to still compete with the new generation.”
Unfortunately for Tsonga, he suffered a first round defeat in Eastbourne on Tuesday.
Tsonga drew Egor Gerasimov in the Eastbourne first round but he failed to take the advantage of a favorable draw.
Gerasimov delivered a good performance as he beat Tsonga 6-4 6-4.
Gerasimov claimed one break of serve in each set and lost no service games to book a straight-set win.