The "Unlucky, Consistent Four". That's how the tennis analyst Brad Gilbert described Richard Gasquet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych for having gone far in some Grand Slams but not having managed to breakthrough overcoming the real Big Four players: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
'To me, they're more the 'Unlucky, Consistent Four' It's probably over for Ferrer, but the others should be able to play at least a few more years. But getting back into the top 10 is going to be a huge hurdle.
It's not impossible, but it's a big ask", Gilbert said to ESPN. In 2010 Wimbledon Berdych defeated Federer in a five-set quarter-final match and then Djokovic in a straight-set semifinal, but then lost to Nadal in a straight-set final.
"The hardest thing always for those guys was to beat two or even three of the Big Four in the same event. It was very discouraging", admitted Gilbert. "All those [little four] guys had a little less in their games than the Big Four, except maybe for Tsonga.
He'd hit the highest level of them all, but he had trouble sustaining it." In his many recent interviews Ferrer, who will retire from tennis next year, said that he is happy and satisfied with his career. And Gilbert added: "It's easy to say, 'If only Ferrer were 3 inches taller or Berdych a little faster or if Tsonga had a more effective second serve'.
But you can say the same thing about a zillion players. The thing is, they did more than most with what they have. Any other time in tennis history, they would have been more successful. It was just their bad luck to play at this insanely ridiculous time." ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title