Tsonga's remarks on women's game surprise

MICHAEL GLEESON
Last updated 15:31 24/01/2013
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
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JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: "You know, the girls, they are more unstable emotionally than us. I'm sure everybody will say it's true, even the girls.''

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It was after midnight, he had just lost a grand slam match in five sets to the best the world has seen, he was speaking a second language and he was fielding questions about women's tennis.

But allowing for all of that, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's offering that the top women were inconsistent because they were emotionally unstable and had to battle hormonal fluctuations was, well, surprising.

Tsonga was asked about the relative inability of the top women's seeds to consistently win through to the semi-finals in grand slams compared to the men after he again failed to overcome a top seed in Roger Federer only hours after the women's favourite, Serena Williams, was jettisoned from the tournament.

Tsonga smiled and shrugged. He has the sort of accent that he could talk about pebble mix and sound engaging - but the Frenchman's words will yet grate for some, or many.

"You know, the girls, they are more unstable emotionally than us. I'm sure everybody will say it's true, even the girls,'' he said laughing either at the absurdity of the question or the cheekiness of his answer and the media in the room laughed too. Was he serious or joking?

Tsonga looked, smiling, across the room and saw surprised smiling faces and a few shaking heads.

"No? No, you don't think? But, I mean, it's just about hormones and all this stuff. We [men] don't have all these bad things, so we are physically in a good shape every time, and you are not. That's it,'' he said.

Slightly uncertain how to proceed things then just moved on ... to tennis.

Asked about his own inability to overcome the top men in grand slam tournaments, Tsonga was equally frank.  ''To be honest, I have no idea. You know, if you have some advice for me, I will take them because I don't know. I don't know what is the difference.

"I'm just working hard. I do my best. I mean, that's it. Maybe I'm less talented for the moment. That's it."

He added: ''But, you know, what is good, I send a message, a good message, you know [that] I'm here, I'm playing well, so you can count on me on the next game.''

He added that he thought he was a better player than in 2008 when he made the final of the Australian Open.

''Yeah, I think I'm more solid. You know, sometimes you play two weeks unbelievable and you don't know why. But it stays, like, two weeks. For a few months after that, you lose everything. So now I'm a better player, for sure.''

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- The Age

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