Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will miss next month’s Davis Cup Final with a recurring knee injury. The Frenchman underwent knee surgery after sustaining an injury at Wimbledon, which caused him to miss the entire US hard court season, and aggravated the problem at Montpellier last week, bringing his 2010 season to a premature end.
“My tendon snapped again,” said Tsonga, who will also miss the Paris Masters and the ATP World Tour Finals. "It's the hardest moment of my professional career. For me, it was a childhood dream to play in the Davis Cup Final."
"It's not a death. It's sad, it's a disappointment, but it's not tragic. I'm only a tennis player, they can replace me with another,” he continued. "Of course, I'll do what the captain wants me to do. If he wants me to be there, if my presence can bring a little encouragement to the team, I will be there.”
Despite being without its No. 1 player, France still has considerable strength to call upon for the Final against Serbia. World No. 14, Gael Monfils, is in great form after claiming his first title of the year last week at Montpellier while doubles specialist Michael Llodra was a key figure in France’s semifinal victory over Argentina, winning his singles and doubles rubbers.
Jeremy Chardy, Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet are also all ranked in the Top 50, with Gilles Simon just outside this bracket at No. 52 following an injury-hit season which saw him miss both the Australian Open and Roland Garros. Davis Cup stalwart Arnaud Clement brings considerable experience and is another option for captain Guy Forget.
France will also take comfort from the fact it won both its quarterfinal and semifinal ties this year without Tsonga, including thrashing reigning Davis Cup champion, Spain, 5-0 in July.