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Tsonga Set for Beijing Title Tilt

Beijing, China

Tsonga© AFP/Getty ImagesJo-Wilfried Tsonga has a 5-3 record in Beijing, where he reached the 2011 semi-finals.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was announced Wednesday as the first marquee ATP World Tour player to join the 2012 China Open, to be held in Beijing, from 1-7 October.

Tsonga won the hearts of many tennis fans around the world, following his heart-breaking loss to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in their Roland Garros quarterfinal clash on Tuesday.

The Frenchman held four match points before Djokovic fought back to keep alive his dream of completing a non-calendar year Grand Slam. Tsonga’s aggression, power and fearlessness proved that the 27-year-old Frenchman, currently No. 5 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, is looking to challenge the ‘Big Four’ on the ATP World Tour this season.

“We are excited that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is coming back to play the China Open," said Tournament Director Alfred Zhang. "He has proven that he belongs in the top group of players on the ATP World Tour and is one of the most popular players amongst the fans here in Beijing."

As one of the hottest stars on the ATP World Tour, Tsonga’s distinct personality also makes him one of the most popular players amongst fans in China who are sure to head to the National Tennis Centre during the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Week holidays.

The China Open also has special memories for Tsonga, who captured his first ATP World Tour singles victory when he stunned former World No. 1 Carlos Moya in 2004. Last year, Tsonga fell in the semi-finals to eventual champion Tomas Berdych, and he will be looking to improve on that performance this year.

“I was really impressed with the new stadium and the tournament last year, but I was also upset that I didn’t get the chance to play in the final," said Tsonga. I am looking forward to coming back to Beijing and trying to win the title this year."

Tsonga will also feature in the 2012 China Open TVC, which was filmed in Madrid last month.

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