HomeSportTsonga upsets Federer, Ferrer sails

Tsonga upsets Federer, Ferrer sails

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PARIS — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga sent Roger Federer crashing out of the quarter-finals on Tuesday to take a step closer to ending France’s 30-year wait for a men’s champion at Roland Garros.

Reuters

Sixth-seed Tsonga swept to a 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 triumph to reach his first semi-final in Paris and first by a home player since Gael Monfils in 2008.

The 28-year-old will tackle Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer for a place in Sunday’s final.

Victory helped wipe out the misery of his quarter-final in Paris last year where he had four match points over Novak Djokovic, but lost in five sets.

“It’s extraordinary to be here and to have won,” said Tsonga, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of Yannick Noah, France’s last men’s champion in Paris in 1983.

“I never dreamt of this moment. Today was my moment against a champion who has won everything. I didn’t think I would get this far without losing a set. But Ferrer has not lost a set as well, he’s in great form.”

Federer, in his 36th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal, was bidding to win a record 58th career match at Roland Garros and reach his 34th semifinal at a major. The 17-time Grand Slam title winner also had the advantage of a 9-3 career lead over the French star, but Tsonga had been the man to beat Federer from two sets to love down in the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2011.

“It was a bad day, it’s a crushing disappointment,” admitted Federer.
“But I will forget about it quickly, I usually do. Give a lot of credit to Jo, he turns defence into attack very quickly and has got a big game.”

Tsonga had reached the quarterfinals without dropping a set, while 31-year-old Federer had struggled in his fourth round win over Gilles Simon where he had to come back from two sets to one down.

But it was 2009 champion Federer who struck first on Tuesday with a break for a 3-2 lead which the French player retrieved for 4-4.

Tsonga took the opener when Federer shanked an ugly forehand. One break in the second set for 2-0 was enough for a two-sets lead.

Federer had come back from two sets to love down last year in his quarterfinal win over Juan Martin del Potro and in 2009 in the fourth round against Tommy Haas. But there was to be no miracle this time as a break in the seventh game of the third set put Tsonga on his way.

It was all over after a one-sided, one hour and 51-minute affair with Federer undone by 34 unforced errors and a brilliant performance under pressure by his opponent.

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