Paris — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has lost his race for fitness for Roland Garros after surgery on his left knee, the 2013 and 2015 French Open semifinalist said on Monday.
No Frenchman has won at Roland Garros since Yannick Noah in 1983 and Tsonga’s two previous semifinal runs had given home fans reason to hope.
"Despite all our best efforts to be fit in time I am afraid to say unhappily I’m ruled out of Roland Garros," the 33-year-old wrote on Twitter on Monday.
Tsonga damaged a meniscus in February, pulling out of the Montpellier tournament in the semifinals, before having surgery in April.
"I worked really hard to try and be fit in time, but it wasn’t enough," Tsonga said.
Current champion and 10-time winner Rafael Nadal is red-hot favourite to win again in 2018 with Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev all expected to make a run at the May 27 to June 10 championship.
In 2018 there is a total purse of €39m, with €2.2m going to the singles champions.
Simona Halep is favourite for the women’s tournament.