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Through Roger Federer's performance and mine, we give people hope: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Roger Federer at the 2014 Davis Cup final
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Roger Federer at the 2014 Davis Cup final
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 11 Mar 2021
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Both Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have returned to the winner's circle on the ATP tour this week, after enduring a string of physical setbacks over the past year.

On Wednesday, Federer played his first competitive match since the 2020 Australian Open. The Swiss, who underwent two knee surgeries last year, defeated Dan Evans in three sets to reach the quarterfinals of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.

A day earlier, over at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille, Tsonga won his first match since November 2019. The 35-year-old beat Feliciano Lopez in three sets to advance to the second round.

Tsonga then lost to fourth seed Ugo Humbert in the second round, but not before giving notice to the world that he still had it in him to compete at the top level.

Like Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did not compete in 2020 after the Australian Open. The Frenchman was hampered by back issues for almost the entire season, and returned only in February this year.

Speaking after his loss to Humbert, Tsonga claimed that his and Federer's comebacks could provide hope to many in the world who are going through their own personal struggles.

"Beyond the performance, it gives hope to a lot of people," Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said. "Because I'm sure there are a lot of people watching us, who may be tennis players or not, who may have other injuries, or many other things that are difficult."
"And it's good to give people hope," the Frenchman added. "I think that through Roger Federer's performance (and mine), we give people hope and that's great."

(Quotes have been translated using Google Translate)

"I think it's great" - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Roger Federer's winning comeback

Roger Federer after beating Dan Evans at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, Qatar
Roger Federer after beating Dan Evans at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, Qatar

While speaking with the press, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga revealed he had been watching Roger Federer's comeback match until 3-3 in the final set. The Frenchman was delighted to learn that Federer had gone on to win and advance to the quarter-finals in Doha.

Tsonga also empathized with Federer, given that he has himself undergone surgeries on both his knees in the past.

"Unbelievable. It's beautiful," Tsonga said. "I know what it's like to have the knees operated on, because I have had both (knees operated). Anyway, I know what it is (laughs)."
"When you're out for a while (to comeback and win) it's wonderful," he added. "It's Roger Federer too. He plays good tennis. I think it is great."
Published 11 Mar 2021
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