PARIS (Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic still has some way to go before he can boast the same aura Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal have on the circuit, according to Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Tsonga, one of the few players with a positive head-to-head record against Djokovic, will face the Serb in the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters with nothing to lose after already clinching his place in the ATP World Tour finals in London.
“For the moment he has less aura than Roger and Rafa,” Tsonga, who has a 5-4 record against Djokovic and has never lost indoors against him, told reporters after a 6-3 6-4 victory over Italy’s Andreas Seppi on Thursday.
”(He has less aura) because of the number of victories in grand slams, but also the others were at the top for many years, even if Novak had a very good year this year.
“So he’s quite far from what the others achieved. His career is not as complete and his position on the tour is not as historical.”
Tsonga said he is relishing another clash with Djokovic who he beat on the way to winning the Paris Masters title in 2008.
“Whatever happens, he plays great. When I‘m on that court, I have nothing to lose against him,” the sixth seed said.
“That way I‘m thinking when I go onto the court against him he has more to lose than I do. So I always go to try to play my best tennis, and I‘m sure it is the reason why every time I play against him I play my best tennis.”
Reporting by Julien Pretot