Former seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe joked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga could have easily won a Grand Slam if Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were not so selfish. Tsonga, 37, finished his career this week in front of his home fans at the French Open.
Tsonga, who turned professional in 2004, was one of the most promising players of his generation but he never fulfilled his goal of winning a Grand Slam. In 2008, Tsonga reached his maiden Grand Slam final at the Australian Open, before losing to Djokovic.
After Tsonga reached the 2008 Australian Open final, many predicted he would reach many more Grand Slams finals. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case but Tsonga did have several strong runs in the following years. Tsonga reached another Australian Open semifinal in 2010, while he was also twice a semifinalist at the French Open and Wimbledon.
At the US Open, Tsonga three times reached the quarterfinal.
McEnroe: Tsonga had the bad luck of playing in the Big 3 era
“The three other guys [Federer, Nadal, Djokovic], that was the issue for everyone,” McEnroe told Eurosport.
“Whether it was [Gael] Monfils, who was next to him at the ceremony after the match, you can go down the list of players who could and would have won Slams, but these three have been the greatest ever. They are incredible tennis players and they also psyche these guys out.
They are three of the all-time great athletes and Jo was a little bit below that and that cost him against them. Sure he could have won one with a little bit of luck and so could Monfils and some other guys but those guys are very selfish and stingy!” Tsonga finished his career with 18 titles and his career-high ranking saw him ranked at No.
5 in the world. Many wondered whether Tsonga's career would have gone on a completely different path had he won his first Grand Slam when he was just 22 at the Australian Open.