Ruud rallied from a set down, handling the best that the former world No.5 had to offer in the first two sets before riding to a 6-7(6), 7-6(4), 6-1, 7-6(0) triumph, booking a second round against Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori.
Though Tsonga couldn’t produce one last epic victory for the Paris faithful, Tuesday’s loss in no way diminished the moment. Win or lose there is something special about Jo.
"For me, to have been able to fight back against a solid player for my final match is what I was expecting at the end of the day," an emotional Tsonga told the press after his final match. "That's what I wanted to do. I wanted to finish this way, on the court, to do my best, injured or not."
The 37-year-old has spent a career pulling at the heartstrings of his legions of fans, and Tuesday inside of Court Phillipe-Chatrier was no different.
Tsonga, a 297th-ranked wildcard making his 13th career appearance at his home Grand Slam, had his own white-clad cheering section, replete with a drummer, a horn section and a chanting cluster of enthusiasts.
Gael Monfils, author of many a magical moment himself, sat courtside cheering his close friend’s every move. He was one of many French tennis luminaries in the house.