WATCH - Stan Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga involved in angry exchange at Australian Open
The only memorable moment in a one-sided quarter-final between Stan Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came at the end of the first set, when the two players started arguing in French while sitting on their chairs.
The testy exchange started with Tsonga muttering to himself about Wawrinka looking askance at him. Wawrinka heard the monologue and interjected “What did you say? It’s you that’s looking at me and talking to me.”
Tsonga: “I said nothing” Wawrinka: “I looked at you when? Did I look at you at all? It’s a tennis match. You’ve got to calm down, relax a bit.” Tsonga: “There’s no worries.”
Wawrinka and Tsonga both live in Switzerland and were good friends until three years ago, when Wawrinka won his first grand-slam title at this event. Soon afterwards, Tsonga gave an interview to L’Equipe in which he said “If Stan can win a slam, then I deserve one too”. His comment did not go down well.
Further baggage developed at the 2014 Davis Cup final in Lille, when a tipsy and victorious Wawrinka told a press conference that “They put the champagne bottles in the locker-rooms of the French team and they forgot to bring them to our locker-rooms.” A couple of French players were so annoyed by what they felt was needless point-scoring that they followed Wawrinka into the toilets at the official dinner to remonstrate with him.
Even though Tsonga was not among the pushy and irate Frenchmen at the dinner, relations between Wawrinka and the French players are understood to have remained chilly for a little while afterwards. “You can always have some tension,” said Wawrinka after Tuesday’s 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory. “Everybody go on the court to win the matches. Things can happen. But at the end there is no problem after the match.”
Tsonga said that the exchange was “nothing special”, blaming it on “testosterone”.