Nothing much went right for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at this year’s French Open. One game away from elimination when play resumed on Wednesday, Tsonga lasted less than eight minutes on court before losing to Renzo Olivo 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-4.
“I didn’t have the best feeling yesterday or even today,” Tsonga said. “I never really found the right pace. Unfortunately, that meant I couldn’t play well enough to win.”
The first-round match started Tuesday, but was suspended because of darkness with Olivo leading 5-4 in the fourth set.
It was the first time Tsonga has lost to a player ranked as low as No. 91 at a Grand Slam.
“I fought with the arms I had. I gave my best all the way to the end,” the 12th-seeded Tsonga said. “Even today when I stepped onto the court, I tried to get back into the game. I gave my best. Now I need to focus on the rest.”
Tsonga lost the first three points on his serve Wednesday. But cheered on by a passionate home crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier, he managed to save those three match points.
Olivo, however, converted his next chance with a forehand crosscourt winner.
It was Tsonga’s earliest exit at Roland Garros since 2005, and came only a few days after he won his first clay-court title in Lyon.
“Tennis runs in cycles,” the 32-year-old Tsonga said. “There are victories. There are disappointments. I think the most important is to remain as stable and consistent as possible in terms of emotions, because when you’re working, if you work well, you’re always rewarded at some point.
“If it’s not today, it will be another day. Last week I won my first-ever clay tournament. And today I lost at the French Open. It’s the paradox of tennis.”
Olivo had only ever played three Grand Slam matches all at the Australian Open.
“It was a very difficult match against a really tough opponent like Jo. And he was playing home. I knew it was going to be hard. It was going to be crowdy,” the 25-year-old Argentine said. “I like to play on big courts. So it was crowdy and I really liked it.”
The crowd was one thing, but delay wasn’t so easy to deal with.
“I finished everything at around 1 in the morning. So it was really late,” Olivo said. “And then after, with the adrenaline of the match, I couldn’t sleep much. So it was tough.”