Jo-Wilfried Tsonga certainly falls into the category of players who deserved the most luck. The French veteran, who nevertheless achieved a best ranking of ATP number 5, suffered particularly from the domination of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The transalpine boasts as his best result the final at the Australian Open 2008, where it was Djokovic who prevented him from putting a Grand Slam title on the board. A series of injuries have affected Jo's career in recent years, forcing him to long periods away from the pitch.
Statistics show that Tsonga - in his best years - represented a serious threat even for the Big 3. His balance sheet is 6-12 in the head-to-head with Federer, 4-10 against Rafael Nadal and 6-17 against. Djokovic (who came out victorious in the last 15 occasions).
As the icing on the cake, many will remember Jo's sensational comeback against Federer in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon 2011, when he was able to get back on top from two sets to zero behind. Speaking on the 'COURTS Mag' podcast, the Le Mans tennis player admitted in no uncertain terms that he would have liked to play in an era without the three sacred monsters.
Tsonga on facing the Big 3
“We're gonna be honest, I would have loved it if all these guys didn’t exist,” Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said. “When you're 5th in the world you say to yourself 'if they weren't there, I would be fine'"
However, the Frenchman also chose to look on the brighter side. Tsonga recalled how defeating Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had always filled him with a great sense of pride. “When people come to me and say: ‘Ah, but you've played Federer before.
Was it hard?’ (I say) Yeah but sometimes I beat him anyway. It’s a source of pride. Same with Rafa, with Novak, with Murray and the others. We finally played in a crazy generation!" Tsonga added. Two-time French Open finalist Alex Corretja believes Djokovic and Nadal will again dominate at the top while he believes Russian Daniil Medvedev, who finished runner-up at the 2019 US Open and won the 2020 ATP Finals, is “close to winning” a major.
“I honestly think that Djokovic and Nadal are going to continue to be at the top, I would even say that the two will add at least one more Grand Slam,” the Spaniard told Eurosport. “As for those who can jump, I think Medvedev is very close to winning a Grand Slam tournament and that Thiem will once again be a very tough opponent, especially having the experience of New York already and knowing that he can, that helps very much."