Federer, Tsonga to play in semifinal at Qatar Open

Defending Doha champion Roger Federer will clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, after the World No. 3 topped Andreas Seppi 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 on Thursday. The victory marks Federer’s 20th straight win, and sets up a replay of the 2011 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title match. "We've played very often, and now there's no more such secrets out there, especially having played three straight times basically at the end of last season," said Federer. "It's going to be pretty much straightforward for both of us, and I hope we can live up to the expectations and show a good match to the fans."

The second-seeded Federer had dominated Seppi in their previous seven meetings. But after winning the first set with relative ease, the Swiss fell behind 1-5 to the No. 8 seed in the second set, before rallying to even the score at 5-5. Seppi regained his composure, breaking Federer in the final game to win his first set in 17 attempts against the 16-time major champion.

The 30 year is looking to win his fourth title at the event, having lifted the trophy in 2011, 2006 and 2005. He’ll play the third-seeded Tsonga in a highly anticipated semi-final on Friday.

“I thought I started well. I was able to play aggressive, not giving too much rhythm. He was obviously missing more shots due to that,” said Federer, who improved to 26-3 in Doha. “I thought he was a better player in that second set and deserved that set, and then the third set was close.”

"Federer is the best player in the world, probably ever, and it will be difficult to play him," Tsonga said. "You have to be perfect. I have to play my best tennis."

“But it’s all the time difficult anyway to play against this guy because when he plays his best level, he’s better than every player.”

Date: 05.01.2012


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