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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday March 10, 2021

Roger Federer is not the only player that picked up a long awaited win on the ATP Tour this week, after a long hiatus due to injury. There was also Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the widely loved Frenchman, who claimed his first victory on the ATP Tour victory since 2019.

Tennis Express

Now 35, the Frenchman talked of his struggles on Tuesday in Marseille after he defeated Feliciano Lopez, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

“I was touched,” Tsonga said of his victory. “Because it's been a long way to get there. I had (back) pain for months and months. I could no longer carry my son, run behind him, play sports ... No more, in fact. Today, I'm in Marseille, in a tournament that I particularly cherish, and I win. Winning my first match here is emotional for me. One of my goals was to win ONE game over the next few weeks. There it's done. The next goal is going to be to win a second one.”

That second win will have to wait a while as Tsonga was defeated on Wednesday by France’s Ugo Humbert, 6-3, 6-4.

After the match Tsonga reflected on his current situation, adding that he was thrilled to be back on tour, even if he knows the end of his career is not far off.

“I had to give a lot during all these months to be able to win a match like this, and play a second match also today,” he said. “I’m just happy today, we all know that it’s not the start of my career, it’s looking like it’s going toward the end, I would say soon. So, I’m just enjoying to be on court and play against those guys who I don’t really know, all these young guys, yeah, for me it’s a privilege to be here and play tennis, that’s what I like, that’s my passion since the first day, and I’m just happy to be here.”

Tsonga, who owns 465 career wins and 18 career titles, has so much to be proud of. He says his passion for tennis is what continues to fuel him as he works his way back into form, perhaps for the last time.

“I've been hearing people say I'm finished for four or five years, so that's okay,” he said on Monday in his native French. “For me, having played tennis is a miracle. To have won so many tournaments is a miracle. To have made a career at the highest level is a miracle. These miracles take place because I believe in them. In the end, maybe that's what makes the difference.”