Jo-Wilfried Tsonga says the domination of the men's tour by two players is over
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands: Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Tuesday sauntered into the second round of the ATP Rotterdam Open after a 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and declared the era of domination from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is over.
The eighth-seed who lost the 2008 Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic said that the Serb's victory in Melbourne little more than a week ago over Andy Murray marked a gate-crashing of the private party enjoyed by the Swiss and Spaniard for the last half-decade.
"Federer and Nadal are not alone (at the top of the rankings) any more," said Tsonga, who fired 11 aces in his 75-minute win over the 19-year-old Dimitrov.
"Maybe on clay, things (Nadal's victories) are still the same, but not on other surfaces.
"Djokovic and 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."
Tsonga said that his present world ranking of 18 after an injury-marred 2010 season, which saw him fall out of the Top 10, was not a reflection of his present form.
"I've also improved my game but my ranking has gone backwards," he said. "I feel that I'm playing better than two or three years ago.
"I'm in good shape and taking the matches here step by step - but I still feel I have a chance to win the title," said Tsonga, who has won five ATP titles.
American Sam Querrey continues his charm campaign. After losing to Lukas Lacko 7-6(6), 6-3 at San Jose last evening Querry is reported to have "nearly walked from his press conference," by one source and to have blown the press off by others. I'm not sure what his problem is. Well, I do. It's a syndrome often seen in those who feel they're above everyone else due to their social status. Very often these types hate being called for their shit and become whiny babies when it happens. I guess he'll be riding that Porsche more and more if things keep up the way they have for him on the tennis court.
Meanwhile Juan Martin del Potro won his first round match at the SAP Open.
Yanina Wickmayer may be doubtful for Paris after a wall fell on her leg. It seems she was signing autographs after Fed Cup and a fan surge ended up with the wall falling.
The ITF has announced the draws for the Fed Cup World Group Playoffs to be held April 16-17.
WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS
Germany v USA
SPAIN v France
SLOVAK REPUBLIC v Serbia
AUSTRALIA v Ukraine
WORLD GROUP II PLAY-OFFS
Belarus (*) v ESTONIA
Japan v ARGENTINA
Slovenia (*) v CANADA
SWITZERLAND v Sweden
Home teams listed first
Seeds in capitals
(*) = choice of ground decided by lot
Gee I wonder what surface Germany will choose?
Staying with the WTA Melanie Oudin got a good win (for her) over Vera Dushevina in Paris yesterday. The indoor surface plays very fast and she has done well in the past at the GDF Suez.
The most talked about person in tennis right now has to be Kim Clijsters. Most of the talk is about her ascension to the WTA #1 spot as preordained and what it means for women's tennis. Everyone is looking forward to Serena Williams return - her form will be closely scrutinized at that March 8 Nike exhibition - but I don't think anyone expects her to storm the ramparts and immediately reclaim her top ranking. Yeah I remember Australia and #81 but the Serena coming back is older and has suffered through a debilitating injury. Yes she's been practicing from her walker/wheelchair but the latest pictures taken at the Super Bowl show she is still wearing the boot on her foot.
Li Na just signed big contracts with Rolex and Haagen-Dazs.