France's Constant Lestienne is not impressed with the criticism of Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet as he believes those four formed a "golden French generation." Around two decades ago, Monfils, Tsonga, Simon and Gasquet were all considered as one of the biggest talents in the game and tipped to win Grand Slams.
But France is still without a male Grand Slam champion since Yannick Noah, who won the French Open in 1983. "People don't realize how 'golden' this generation has been, how good all of them have been. We had four or five players in the top-20, that is something that is not going to happen tomorrow.
I know all of them and, in addition, they are fantastic people. They are great guys with incredible careers. To all the people who have always criticized them because, according to them, they should have won like five Grand Slams each, I would love to be able to shut all those people's mouths (laughs).
They have done the best they could, they lacked a bit of luck," Lestienne told Punto de Break.
Lestienne: They were running into 'three aliens'
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have been dominating the Grand Slam scene since pretty much 2003.
Because of the Big Three, many extremely talented and gifted players never won a Grand Slam. Lestienne described those three greats as "aliens" - in a positive way - and thinks they were a big reason why his four fellow compatriots never won a Grand Slams.
"Gillou told me that, to win a major tournament, you always had to beat Federer in the quarterfinals, Nadal in the semifinals and Djokovic in the final, to give you an example," Lestienne explained. "Honestly, it's been a fantastic generation.
There's nothing more to say. They ran into three aliens, simply. And look at Richard, for example, he's still playing tennis and has been on the circuit for over 20 years. He's a tennis freak, huh?"