Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.

Melbourne – France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has risked igniting a gender relations storm by provocatively suggesting women's players are more “unstable emotionally” than the men.

Tsonga, speaking after he bowed out of the Australian Open quarter-finals against Roger Federer late Wednesday, was asked why the women's game does not have a settled top three or four like the men.

“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, to laughter in the press room. “No? No, you don't think?

“But, I mean, it's just about hormones and all this stuff. We don't have all these bad things, so we are physically in good shape every time, and you (women) are not. That's it.”

Men's tennis has an established 'Big Four' in Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, and the top four men's seeds are into the Australian Open semi-finals.

“In tennis, you cannot lie. You cannot lie. If they are No 1, No 2, No 3, No 4, it's because they deserve it and because they are the best players at the moment,” Tsonga said.

Federer, when asked about the phenomenon, said women's tennis was “not far off” having a similar situation to the men. Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams have recently emerged as a dominant trio.

“They're not that far off. Of course, Serena's ranking wasn't always what it was supposed to be, let's say, so that obviously broke the mould,” said the Swiss world number two.

“For us, it's become very much a game of movement. Maybe the top guys just move a tiny bit better than the rest of the guys. I'm not sure about that, but seems like it.

“And I guess in the best of five (sets), down the stretch, it just seems that we do find a way. I don't know how to explain it.” – Sapa-AFP