End-of-season reports 2012: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
© PA Photos
Sports Mole looks back at Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's 2012.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's 2012 was one of typical inconsistency, but the Frenchman managed to win two titles on his way to ending the year as the world number eight.

Tsonga started the season in winning form as he overcame Gael Monfils to claim the Qatar Open, but two defeats and a withdrawal at the AAMI Classic in Melbourne were not the best preparation for the Australian Open.

And so it proved to be as Tsonga slumped to a disappointing five-set defeat at the hands of Kei Nishikori in the fourth round of the tournament.

A break from the game was taken after the Aussie Open before a return to his homeland for the 2012 Open 13. Here, a rejuvenated Tsonga battled through to the the semi-finals, where he was undone by eventual champion Juan Martin del Potro.

The start of March saw Tsonga move up to a career-best fifth place in the world rankings but after that came another defeat to Del Potro, this time in the third round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

A surprising fourth-round defeat to David Nalbandian at Indian Wells was followed up with a decent run in Miami which saw Tsonga eventually beaten in the quarter-finals by Rafael Nadal.

He reached the quarters of a tournament again in Monte Carlo before he was eliminated by Gilles Simon, while he then fell victim to Tommy Haas's second coming in the second round of Munich.

Tsonga's inconsistency returned in May on the blue clay of Madrid as he was dumped out in the third round by Alexandr Dolgopolov.

His clay-court campaign continued with defeat to Djokovic in the quarter-finals of Rome before he made his way to Roland Garros for the French Open.

With the boisterous home crowd behind him, Tsonga fought his way through to a first-ever quarter-final appearance at the tournament, where Djokovic was waiting.

The pair engaged in a thrilling match that saw the momentum swing both ways, but it was Djokovic who eventually came through in five.

A second-round defeat to Ivan Dodig at Queen's led onto the Wimbledon Championships, where Tsonga booked his place in the semi-finals against Andy Murray.

Despite taking a set off the Brit, Tsonga went down in four but he was able to take consolation from the fact that it was only the second time in his career that he had reached the last four at SW19.

Tsonga then took part in one of the more remarkable matches of the season when he faced Milos Raonic in the second round of the Olympics.

The Frenchman clinched an exhausting final set 25-23 before he was ousted by Djokivic in the quarters.

However, there was some joy for Tsonga and fellow countryman Michael Llodra in the men's doubles as they won silver following their defeat to the American pairing of Bob and Mike Bryan in the final.

Tsonga's Olympic high was deflated by a second-round defeat to Jeremy Chardy at the Rogers Cup before a withdrawal in Cincinnati.

He then embarked on a disastrous showing at the US Open in August as he went down in round two to world number 52 Martin Klizan.

A return to France to take part in the Moselle Open saw Tsonga claim the ninth singles title of his career courtesy of a 6-1 6-2 victory over Andreas Seppi.

A third final of the year beckoned in China, but he was again unable to overcome Djokovic, who won in straight sets.

Defeat to Tomas Berdych followed in the quarters of the Shanghai Masters before Tsonga was beaten in all three of his matches at the ATP World Tour Finals in London to end the year on a disappointing note.

Andy Murray in action against Tomas Berdych
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