Paris [France], May 25 (ANI): Former World No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Tuesday announced his retirement from tennis after losing to Casper Ruud of Norway in the first round of the French Open.
Tsonga announced last week that he will retire after this year's French Open tournament, bringing an end to a career that saw him reach the 2008 Australian Open final and 18 career titles.
The 37-year-old, who announced last month he would retire following the French Open, was beaten 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 7-6 (7/0) by the Norwegian eighth seed.
It was the 15th time that the Frenchman competed at the clay-court Grand Slam as a professional.
Reduced to tears as he served to stay in the match, Tsonga was given a standing ovation by the home crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier, before being greeted on the court by his former France Davis Cup teammates Gilles Simon, Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils.
"I knew something was going to happen. People came to me. They said, 'Would you like to do something after the match?' I said [to] bug off. You don't know if this is going to be my final match," the ATP's official website quoted Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as saying.
"For me, it was quite moving to see my first coaches on the court," said Tsonga. "Even my parents, they are usually quite discreet and I know they don't really like to be seen in front of the crowd," he added.
Friends, family and fellow players all came to pay tribute to his storied 18-year career.
Tsonga earned Olympic silver in the men's doubles alongside Michael Llodra in 2012 and was part of France's Davis Cup victory in 2017. (ANI)