Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s comeback from knee surgery reached a new high on Monday, as the former No. 5 soared from No. 61 to No. 39 after winning the 250-level indoor hard-court title in Metz, France.
Having undergone surgery on his left knee last April, Tsonga eventually returned to the tour from a seven-month absence last September, and his road back wasn’t easy—his ranking dropped as low as No. 262 last November, and he came into the 2019 season ranked just 23 spots higher at No. 239.
But the Frenchman won another 250-level indoor hardcourt event in Montpellier, France in February and broke back into the Top 100 in April, and now, with his second ATP title of the year in Metz, he’s back in the Top 50 at No. 39, exactly 200 spots higher than where he was at the start of the year.
“What inspires me is that I still think I can improve many things,” Tsonga recently said about his comeback. “That’s why every day I do my commitments and come to the court and try to work on what I’m doing well, and also where I’m not that good. I’m just trying to continue improving every day.”
With his victory in Metz, Tsonga has now won 10 of his 18 career ATP titles on home soil in France.
He’s back in the Top 50 for the first time since the week before the 2018 French Open.
Sofia Kenin reaches new career-high after winning Guangzhou, sets sights on Top 10
Kenin, who took the tennis world by storm in the summer—reaching back-to-back semifinals at Premier 5 events in Toronto and Cincinnati, and subsequently breaking into the Top 20—set a new career-high ranking this week, rising from No. 20 to No. 17 after winning her third WTA title of the year in Guangzhou, China. Her first two titles of the year came in Hobart, Australia and Mallorca, Spain.
“My goal next year is to be in the Top 10,” the American said. “I’m going to enjoy this title and having a great year, and I’m going to do my best in Wuhan and Beijing. Hopefully I can qualify for Zhuhai.”
The player Kenin beat for the Guangzhou title, Samantha Stosur, surged back into the Top 100 after reaching her first WTA final in over two years, rising from No. 129 to No. 92. She’s a former No. 4.
And Karolina Muchova, who broke the Top 50 after her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at Wimbledon, made her Top 40 debut this week after her first WTA title in Seoul, rising from No. 45 to No. 37.
Dominika Cibulkova falls out of Top 100 for first time since 2007
There were a few notable drops this week, too, including Cibulkova, who has been off the tour since Roland Garros due to a left foot injury. The former No. 4 fell from No. 96 to No. 109, her first time outside the Top 100 since she first broke into the Top 100 after the 2007 French Open.
Elsewhere, China’s Wang Qiang fell from No. 12 to No. 16 after losing first round in Guangzhou, having won the title last year, and Gilles Simon fell from No. 37 to No. 49 after losing in the second round in Metz, having won the title last year. It’s the Frenchman’s lowest ranking since last July.