'So sad': Tennis fans left gutted over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga moment

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, pictured here in his final match at the Monte Carlo Masters before retirement.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga played his final match at the Monte Carlo Masters before retirement. Image: Tennis TV/ATP

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has bid an emotional farewell to the Monte Carlo Masters, playing the event for the last time before his retirement.

The Frenchman announced last week that he will hang up the racquet after the French Open in May.

On Monday he played for the final time at the Monte Carlo Masters - an ATP 1000 event that serves as a key lead-up tournament before Roland Garros.

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The 36-year-old was beaten 6-2 6-2 by Marin Cilic before receiving a raucous ovation from spectators.

"I’m sad that it wasn't more of a match because it was my last Monte Carlo," Tsonga said in an on-court interview.

"It’s not always easy but that’s it. Maybe I have been on the tour for too long."

Tsonga is awaiting a decision from the French Tennis Federation after requesting a wildcard to enter the French Open in what would be the final event of his career.

"A few weeks ago I decided I was going to stop at Roland Garros this year," Tsonga said in a video posted to social media last week.

"It took me a long time to make this decision.

"My body is telling me 'you can't go any further than what I give you'."

Tsonga made it to the semi-finals twice at both the French Open and Wimbledon and lost to Novak Djokovic in the final of the 2008 Australian Open - the first of Djokovic's 20 grand slam titles.

He also finished runner-up to Roger Federer at the ATP Finals in 2011, won an Olympic silver medal in doubles and was part of France's Davis Cup triumph in 2017.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, pictured here waving goodbye after his final match at the Monte Carlo Masters.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga waves goodbye after his final match at the Monte Carlo Masters. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

He won two Masters titles - in Paris in 2008 and Toronto in 2014.

However his struggles with a number of different injuries in recent years has seen his ranking tumble to 220th in the world.

He won just one match at tour level last season before ending it prematurely following a first-round loss at Wimbledon.

"I decided that I had to stop at a moment that I chose, a moment when I was able to go on the court," he said.

"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."

Fans were saddened to see Tsonga bid farewell to Monte Carlo on Monday.

Stan Wawrinka's comeback halted by Bublic

Meanwhile, Stan Wawrinka marked his return to Tour level competition for the first time in 13 months but lost a gruelling three-setter to Alexander Bublik.

The Swiss failed to get past Bublik in the first round in Monte Carlo, losing 3-6 7-5 6-2.

The three-times grand slam champion suffered a foot injury early in 2021 and had surgery in March last year before another operation three months later.

He only returned to action at a Challenger Tour tournament in Marbella last month.

While the 37-year-old was beaten in the first round of that event, there were few signs of rustiness against World No.36 Bublik on Court Rainier III.

Stan Wawrinka, pictured here shaking hands with Alexander Bublik after their match at the Monte Carlo Masters.
Stan Wawrinka shakes hands with Alexander Bublik after their match at the Monte Carlo Masters. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

He raced through the first set in only 27 minutes to seize the early advantage in the contest on Monday.

The 2014 champion squandered an opportunity to break Bublik early in the second set and staved off three set points to hold for 5-5.

But he couldn't prevent his determined Kazakh opponent from taking the contest into a decider.

Bublik surged to a 5-1 lead in the final set as Wawrinka faded, before the 24-year-old closed out the victory.

with agencies

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