2011 ATP Review: men ranked Nos. 6-10

Big Jo made a big push.

Remember when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was going to be a permanent top-5 player after he knocked Rafael Nadal out of the 2008 Australian Open. Well that never happened, some of that having to do with injuries, some of it having to do with technical deficiencies and a bit having to with a lack of mental belief. But in 2011, No. 6 Tsonga took a big step forward, not that he ended the year in the top 5, but because he was competitive nearly every single week, especially after he took his carrer into his owns hands and parted ways with his coach of seven years, Eric Winogradsky just after Roland Garros.

He reached the Queens final, the Wimbledon semis (upsetting Federer), the Montreal semis, won Metz, reached the semis of Beijing, and the Bercy and ATP World Tour Finals, where he lost to Federer. He ended the season with an ATP best 825 aces, and displayed a threatening net game, huge forehand and a now respectable backhand. His still does have lapses in concentration, can play some very silly shots and does not do a good job of returning first serves, but has is an enthusiastic competitor without fear of the big occasion who is certainly capable of winning his first major in 2012.


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