Australian Open Ambience 2021

Former Australian Open finalist fails to secure 2022 wildcard

A former Australian Open title contender has been rejected in his attempt to land a wildcard for the 2022 event.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga burst into the tennis limelight when he reached the final of the 2008 Australian Open as a 22-year-old.

While Novak Djokovic, his opponent that day, won his maiden Slam title then and has since gone on to claim 19 more, Tsonga has himself established an impressive career, peaking at fifth in the ATP rankings.

However, the 36-year-old has also suffered numerous injury setbacks later on on the tour, and currently sits at a ranking of 260th in the world.

As such, the Frenchman would require a wildcard to compete at the 2022 Australian Open, an opportunity that has now passed him by.

With their reciprocal wildcard option, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) opted to give world number 155 Lucas Pouille the chance to compete in Melbourne, according to reports from RMC Sport.

Pouille recorded his best ever Slam result at the Australian Open, reaching the semi-finals in 2019 before losing to eventual champion Djokovic.

Having peaked at 10th in the world in March 2018, Pouille has himself been on the receiving end of disruptive injury setbacks, seeing him tumble down the rankings.

Tsonga played just nine tour level matches in 2021, winning only one at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille in March.

Over his career, Tsonga has reached 30 tour finals, including four at Masters 1000 level, that Australian Open final in 2008, and the ATP Finals final in 2011.

From those 30 finals the Frenchman has 18 titles, two at Masters 1000 level in Paris in 2008 and Toronto in 2014.

At the latter Tsonga pulled off the immense feat of defeating world number one Djokovic, world number nine Andy Murray in the quarter-finals, world number eight Grigor Dimitrov in the last four and world number three Roger Federer in the final to claim the title.


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