Rafael Nadal’s victory at the Australian Open was inspiring
Former world number 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga says Rafael Nadal’s victory at the Australian Open was inspiring. Nadal, 35, has been struggling with a persistent foot injury throughout the 2021 season. Nadal took a two-month break after Roland-Garros.
Nadal returned to action in Washington, where he suffered a shock loss to Lloyd Harris. Nadal decided soon after to end his 2021 season. Nadal was unsure if he could return, but he made his return at the Melbourne Summer Set.
Nadal won the Melbourne Summer Set and then lifted a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. On Tuesday, Tsonga beat Kacper Zuk 6-4 6-4 in the first round of Montpellier. It was Tsonga’s first victory since March 2020.
“I’m happy to be able to win, it means a lot to me, I haven’t played a lot, only [ten] games in two years. Rafa’s victory [at the 2022 Australian Open] was inspiring,” Tsonga said as quoted by Sportskeeda.
Tsonga aims for more good wins
Tsonga had a disappointing 2021 season as he picked up just one win and eight losses. Tsonga’s last tournament of the 2021 season was Wimbledon. Tsonga ended the 2021 season on a seven-game losing streak.
“I won’t hide from you that it’s not easy. You have to accept to push the limit, to accept the pain again. The objective is above all to see how long I will last. It’s not great glory to pass the 1st round,” said Tsonga.
“For the weeks I have left as a player, the goal is to progress bit by bit. It’s going in the right direction so far.” Tsonga, 36, has had a lot of injury problems over the past two years.
Tsonga is past his prime but he still loves the game and wants to compete. Tsonga was hoping to receive a wildcard for the Australian Open, but he didn’t get one, so he didn’t play in Melbourne.