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7 active players apart from the Big 3 who featured in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's maiden Grand Slam, ft. Stan Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet

Richard Gasquet congratulates his good friend Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on a successful career
Richard Gasquet congratulates his good friend Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on a successful career
Dr. Balraj Shukla

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga recently drew the curtains on a decorated professional career. Tsonga's last match was against Norway's Casper Ruud in the first round of the 2022 French Open.

A former top-five player, Tsonga won 18 singles titles on the ATP tour and was a runner-up at the 2008 Australian Open. He is one of the few players to have reached the quarterfinals or better at each Slam.

An 𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐒𝐨𝐧𝐚π₯ goodbye πŸ§‘πŸ‘‹πŸ‡«πŸ‡· Jo-Wilfried Tsonga struggles to hold back the tears as he bids farewell to the French Open crowd for one last time before retirement 😭#RolandGarros | @tsonga7 https://t.co/ARolxfdbkc

Additionally, Tsonga is one of the few players to have defeated each member of the Big 3 when they were ranked No. 1.

The Frenchman made his Grand Slam main-draw debut at the French Open in 2005 as a wildcard. He lost to second seed Andy Roddick in straight sets in the first round.

Here, we take a look at seven players apart from the Big 3 who played in the 2005 French Open and are still active on tour.

Note: Ivo Karlovic had planned to retire at the 2021 US Open. However, he played in the qualifying draw at Indian Wells shortly after the New York Major and lost in the second round. Since the Croat has not played a single match since then and has not clarified his status on the tour, he has been left off the list.

#1 Dudi Sela

Dudi Sela at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships
Dudi Sela at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships

Dudi Sela turned pro in 2002 and is still active on tour. The former top-30 player has twice reached the final of a tour-level event, but has never lifted a trophy. The Israeli's best result at a Slam came at Wimbledon in 2009, when he made the fourth round.

At the 2005 French Open, he made the main draw as a qualifier and lost in the first round against top seed Roger Federer.

In January 2022, Sela announced that he would retire at the end of the season.

#2 Feliciano Lopez

Feliciano Lopez at the 2022 Australian Open
Feliciano Lopez at the 2022 Australian Open

A former top-10 player in singles and top-15 in doubles, 40-year-old Feliciano Lopez is still active on tour. A five-time Davis Cup champion, Lopez has won seven singles titles in his career. He holds the record for most consecutive main-draw appearances at the Slams (79). He also holds the record for participating in the most ATP Masters 1000 events (139).

In the 2005 French Open, Lopez lost in the first round in four sets against Paul-Henri Mathieu. The 40-year-old, who lifted the French Open doubles title in 2016, lost in the first round of the qualifying draw against Gian Marco Moroni in the 2022 edition.

#3 Philipp Kohlschreiber

Philipp Kohlschreiber at the 2022 BMW Open
Philipp Kohlschreiber at the 2022 BMW Open

Former top-20 player Philipp Kohlschreiber has been on the professional tour for the past 21 years. He is currently sixth on the list of players with the most main-draw appearances at Grand Slams. The German has only once made the quarterfinals of a Major, which was at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships. He has eight singles titles to his name.

Kohlschreiber lost to Nicolas Almagro in the first round of the 2005 French Open. In the 2022 edition, he lost in the first round of the qualifying draw against Enzo Couacaud.

#4 Richard Gasquet

Richard Gasquet at the 2022 French Open
Richard Gasquet at the 2022 French Open

One of France's most successful players in the 21st century, Richard Gasquet has accumulated over 550 wins on the ATP tour since turning professional in 2002. Except for the Australian Open, he has made the quarterfinals or better at every Slam.

At Roland Garros in 2005, Gasquet lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the third round. A former top-10 player and a winner of 15 singles titles, Gasquet lost in the second round of the 2022 French Open against SΓ©bastian Korda.

#5 Gilles Simon

Gilles Simon at the 2022 French Open
Gilles Simon at the 2022 French Open

In May, Giles Simon announced that he would retire at the end of the 2022 season. The Frenchman is a former World No. 6 and has won 14 singles titles in his career. A two-time Masters 1000 runner-up, Simon has recorded over 500 singles match wins. His best result at the Majors has been quarterfinal appearances at the Australian Open (2009) and Wimbledon (2015).

Simon entered the 2005 French Open as a wildcard. In the first round, he lost to fellow wildcard entrant Olivier Patience in four sets. At the 2022 French Open, he was defeated by Marin Cilic in the third round.

#6 Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawtinka at the 2022 French Open
Stan Wawtinka at the 2022 French Open

An Olympic gold medalist and Davis Cup champion, Stan Wawrinka found himself on the losing end in the first round of the 2022 French Open against home hope Corentin Moutet. The former World No. 3 made a comeback on the tour during the European claycourt swing after undergoing surgery on his left foot.

Similar to Tsonga, the 2005 French Open marked Wawrinka's maiden main-draw appearance at a Slam. The Swiss lost in the third round to eventual runner-up Mariano Puerta. Since then, the Swiss has won every Slam except Wimbledon.

In March 2022, Wawrinka spoke about his future plans and expressed his desire to win another ATP tournament.

"I’m coming back to finish my career, but that doesn’t necessarily mean within six months. I’m not preparing just to come back this year and say goodbye at the same time. Since my knee injury almost five years ago, my dream has been to win an ATP tournament before quitting," he said.

#7 Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils congratulates Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during the latter's farewell ceremony at 2022 French Open
Gael Monfils congratulates Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during the latter's farewell ceremony at 2022 French Open

After 18 years on the pro tour, Gael Monfils still finds himself at an impressive ranking of No. 22. The French showman has made at least one tour-level final each year since 2005. The former World No. 6 has made the quarterfinals or better at every Slam except Wimbledon. He has won 11 singles titles in his career.

Monfils made the main draw at the 2005 French Open by virtue of a wildcard. He lost his first-round match against Guillermo Canas 6-3, 6-1, 6-0. The three-time Masters runner-up withdrew from the 2022 French Open with a foot injury.


Edited by Nihal Taraporvala

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