Tsonga declares end to Nadal-Federer era
The era of domination from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is over, according to Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Tsonga, who lost the 2008 Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic, said Tuesday that the Serb's victory in Melbourne, Australia, a little more than a week ago over Andy Murray in the final marked a gate-crashing of the private party enjoyed by the Swiss and Spaniard for the past half-decade.
"Federer and Nadal are not alone (at the top of the rankings) anymore," said Tsonga, after sauntering into the second round of the ATP Rotterdam Open with a 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
"Maybe on clay, things (Nadal's dominance) 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 anymore."
Tsonga said his 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.