Wimbledon 2011 Quarterfinals preview

Six-time former champion Roger Federer has a 4-1 lead over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the recent Queen's Club runner-up (l. to Murray). The pair has not met on grass courts before, but Federer has beaten the Frenchman twice this season at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in January and the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.

The 26-year-old Tsonga is appearing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second straight year (lost to Murray in 2010). He has reached two major semi-finals at the 2008 and 2010 Australian Opens. Tsonga is attempting to become just the fifth different Frenchman to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals since 1968. Richard Gasquet was the last Frenchman to reach the semi-finals in 2007 and Cedric Pioline is the only Frenchman to reach the final here (l. Pete Sampras) in the Open Era. Henri Leconte (1986) and Sebastien Grosjean (2003-04) also fell at the penultimate hurdle. Tsonga plays here ranked No. 19 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, but is seeded No. 12 because the tournament takes into account players’ previous grass court performances when determining seeds. If he defeats Federer, he is projected to move to around No. 13. His career best ranking was World No. 6 in November 2008. Tsonga has won eight matches against Top 3 players in 20 previous match-ups. His most recent victory over a Top 3 player came when he defeated No. 1 Nadal in the Queen’s Club quarter-finals three weeks ago.  Tsonga’s 2011 highlights include two runner-up finishes, at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (l. Soderling) and Queen's Club.

Federer is bidding to reach his 29th Grand Slam championship semi-final and move into second place on the list of most Open Era major semi-final appearances, behind Jimmy Connors (31). Nadal is the next active man on this list in 10th place with 15 semi-final appearances. Only five other men have even played the last 29 Grand Slam championships (including this one): Lopez (38), David Ferrer (35), Fernando Verdasco (33), Tomas Berdych (32) and Albert Montanes (29). The Swiss superstar is bidding to equal William Renshaw and Pete Sampras' record of seven Wimbledon titles by winning his 17th Grand Slam title overall. He would become the sixth man to win seven titles at any Grand Slam event: Richard Sears, Bill Larned and Bill Tilden all won seven titles at the US Championships. Federer is bidding to win his 60th match at Wimbledon to overtake John McEnroe and move to fourth on the Open Era list of most Wimbledon wins, trailing only Sampras (63-7), Boris Becker (71-12) and Connors (84-18). Last year, Federer failed to reach the Wimbledon final for the first time since 2002. He lost in the quarter-finals to eventual runner-up Berdych 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. The 29 year old holds the Open Era record for the most career grass-court titles with 11. In addition to Wimbledon, his other five titles were won at 2003-06 and 2008 Halle. His last grass court title came at the All England Club in 2009. Federer is the second most successful active player on grass, having won his 100th match in the fourth round. He has a 100-14 career record on grass, behind only Hewitt with 104-27. Federer can overtake Rafael Nadal and move to No. 2 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings if he wins the tournament and the Spaniard fails to reach the final.

Date: 29.06.2011, Source: ATP


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