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    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga highlights how difficult it was to win a Grand Slam during the era of the Big Four

    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

    Tennis   |   February 10, 2022

     

    French tennis star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was one of the most entertaining stars of this generation. The former World No. 5 recently gave an interview to Eurosport where he mentioned how difficult was it to win a Grand Slam in the era of the Big Four.

    The Frenchman highlighted that a player had to beat at least two of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in successive matches to bag the Major. Sometimes if luck does not favour then a player had to face one of them in the quarterfinals as well along with the semis and the finale. He felt that the task was almost impossible.

    Tsonga has three wins in six matches against the Big 4 on the hard courts of the Australian Open. Tsonga had a brilliant Happy Slam in 2008 and also in 2010. In 2008 he defeated Murray in the first round, followed by defeating Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. In 2010 he defeated Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals but could not clinch the title as he admitted that he was drained before the semifinal against Federer.

    In his interview, he reminisced about his old Australian Open days. He also highlighted the difficulties that a player had to go through during the Big Four era to win a Major.

    “What is very difficult today, with this generation, is that to win a Grand Slam, you had to beat, in a row, a top 10 player, like maybe Roger Federer, Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic, and then Rafael Nadal in the final,” Tsonga said. “That was difficult, including for one of them.”

    He used the example of his 2010 Australian performance where he reached the semifinals but bowed out against Roger Federer. He there highlighted how drained he was after beating Djokovic in the quarterfinals and had no energy remaining in the tank to go beyond Federer in the last four.

    “[In the 2010 Australian Open] I played Djokovic in the quarterfinals. I played fantastic, in a highly intensive game. What I’ll keep from the match is that it shows what has been difficult for me: being able, after an exhausting, really tough game, to win the next one after that,” Tsonga added.

    But still, Tsonga is delighted to feature in this era of the Big Four as he enjoys a great record against the big boys. He has 18 victories against the Big Four, the third-highest after Stanislas Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro.

    “I am also very proud to have played with [the Big-4], I think I am among the very few players who beat them many times,” Tsonga said. “Even the ones that were right behind them in ranking wouldn’t beat them. It was very, very rare.”

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