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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Biography

January 24, 2008

kids articles

Birthdate: April 17, 1985
Birthplace: Le Mans, France

This French sensation pulled off the biggest upset so far in the Australian Open. We've got the 411 on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga!

Growing Up

Jo-Wilfried grew up in France where he started playing tennis at the age of seven. He got his athletic genes from his father, who was a professional handball player for Congo. Jo-Wilfried started playing junior tennis when he was 16. At that time, he tried to emulate Andy Roddick, another rising star's game. He won the U.S. Open Juniors title in 2003 and the very next year, Jo-Wilfried turned pro. His first two years as a professional were rough. He was constantly injured with back and abdominal problems. Jo-Wilfried had a strong 2007 season where he made it to the fourth round in Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open. For the first time in his career, he was ranked in the top 50.

Climb to the Top

Jo-Wilfried's breakout performance came at the 2008 Australian Open. He wasn't even expected to survive his first round match with ninth seed Andy Murray. Not only did he win that match, but he managed tosteamroll his way into the finals. In the semifinal round, Jo-Wilfried delivered one of the biggest upsets in tennis history by defeating superstar and second seed Rafael Nadal in straight sets!

Playing Style

When Jo-Wilfried is on his game, there are few players that can stop him. Blessed with good foot speed, he can kill you with a great mixture of shots. He has a strong forehand as well as a dangerous volley and drop shot. Jo-Wilfried can also close the net with the best of them. One of the best characteristics about the 22-year old French native is his confidence. No matter how big the stage is, he is always very relaxed and poised.

Did U Know?

  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is 6'2" tall and weighs 200 pounds.
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga resides in La Rippe, Switzerland.
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has an older sister and a younger brother.
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has been nicknamed "The Mohammed Ali of Tennis" because of his striking resemblance to the boxing legend (not to mention his ability to "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee").
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is coached by fellow Frenchman and former ATP pro Eric Winogradsky.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Says...

"I don't know what to say. Today I played unbelievable, and nothing can stop me and I am just happy. It's like a dream. Every day, this like a dream. I can't believe it's true, just amazing."

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