Sweet revenge for Federer; Faces Djokovic next

Roger Federer maintained his scintillating form at the US Open as he exacted sweet revenge on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 victory over the Frenchman in Thursday night’s quarter-final. Tsonga had won their past two encounters, including rallying from a two-set deficit in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

"I played great," Federer said. "I'm very happy with the way I'm playing and the way I'm moving. I'm enjoying myself out on the court. Being here in New York and having the support of the crowd is an amazing feeling. I've been here for many years and all of the hard work seems to be paying off."

Federer, who dismantled Juan Monaco for the loss of just three games in his fourth-round match on Monday, goes on to face World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a rematch of the 2010 semi-finals. On that occasion, Federer squandered two match points in a five-set defeat, but has since beaten the Serb in their most recent meeting in the Roland Garros semi-finals.

"I'm looking forward [to facing Djokovic]," said Federer. "He's the biggest challenge in tennis right now and I'm up for it. I'm playing well and I'm really looking forward to playing him."

World No. 3 Federer made a strong start to his match with Tsonga, their fifth meeting this year, breaking to lead 2-1. However, just two games later there was a familiar sight as umbrellas were raised and a light drizzle suspended the match for nearly 90 minutes. At the resumption Tsonga was able to get the break back and level at 3-3. However, a poor game from the Frenchman at 4-4 proved costly and Federer broke serve before closing out the 37-minute first set with an unreturned serve.

Federer again dominated in the second set, quickly establishing a 4-1 double break lead as Tsonga struggled to find his best tennis. The Frenchman managed to recoup one of the service breaks, but Federer raised his level again to break in the ninth game and secure a two-set lead. The Swiss then broke through decisively in the eighth game of the third set, courtesy of a double fault from Tsonga, and served out victory in one hour and 53 minutes.

The 30-year-old Federer is through to the US Open semi-finals for the eighth year in a row, equalling Ivan Lendl’s mark. The Basel native is bidding to set an Open Era record by winning the title in New York for the sixth time; he was the champion five times between 2004 and 2008, and finished runner-up to Juan Martin del Potro in 2009.

The 16-time major champion is yet to win a Grand Slam championship this year. Should he fail to win the US Open, it would be the first time since 2002 that Federer has not won a major title. He was beaten in the Australian Open semi-finals by Djokovic, and fell to Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros final.

Date: 09.09.2011, Source: ATP


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