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Chris Chase

Tsonga says the Federer and Nadal era is over in tennis

Busted Racquet

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The Nadal and Federer era is over, according to Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The world No. 18 (above right) said this week that the time when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will dominate the sport is no longer.

Speaking to reporters at the ATP Rotterdam Open, he said:

"Federer and Nadal are not alone [at the top of the rankings] any more. Maybe on clay, things (Nadal's victories) are still the same, but not on other surfaces.

[Novak] Djokovic and [Andy] Murray are beating Nadal and Federer very often, all the players are improving their games. It's not just about Nadal and Federer any more."

There's nothing factually wrong with Tsonga's statement. Federer is on the downside of his career and Nadal has shown in recent weeks that he's not invincible. (Though we'd be remiss to point out that one month ago there was a good shot Nadal would become the first man in 40 years to hold all four major titles at the same time.) Djokovic has defeated Federer in the past two Grand Slams and Nadal didn't even make the semifinals in Melbourne. Murray's wins over Roger and Rafa come mainly in non-majors, but nobody denies his talent.

The problem with Tsonga's statement is that even if it's true, it's not something you say, especially if you're Jo-Wilifred Tsonga. The Frenchman is a fine player, reaching one Grand Slam final and ascending to as high as No. 6 in the rankings, but isn't the kind of guy who should be lobbing truth bombs at the world's best.

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