French tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga says that former World No. 1 Andy Murray has been one of the players who has troubled him most on court, even more than the Big Three - Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Speaking to La Provence in Marseille, Tsonga says, "It is the professionalism that has changed the most between the beginning and now. The players pay attention to everything, their lifestyle, their sleep. The medical side has changed professional tennis.
The average age of the players who retire is pushed back a little more each year . The public is pushing for young people to take over. The top three (Djokovic, Nadal and Federer) are always the same. Murray has always been my pet peeve.
I must have a record of 14 defeats for 2 wins against him. Against the others, I won one match in three. We now think that Nadal and Djokovic will pass in front of Federer. Tennis is an individual sport where we are always in competition.
I didn't really like playing against French players all the time. " Tsonga withdrew from the ATP Open 13 event in Marseille this week due to his back injury but says he has great memories of his three wins here. "They were all great.
My first victory, it was in 2009, then 2013 and the last against Lucas Pouille in 2017. It was great weeks. Here, people are warm. The proximity is very easy. I played a challenger tournament in Cassis this summer, it's a region that attracts me a lot.
" Reflecting on the best moments of his career, Tsonga says, "I've always been between 12th and 8th in the world. I know my level of play is closer to that if I'm able to play my best. I had a lot of good times but I would say victory at the Paris-Bercy tournament.
I was 23 years old, it was the first time that I played in front of my childhood friends. There were all my coaches since that I started. It had a special flavor."