Federer loses to Tsonga at Roland Garros

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga stunned Roger Federer to delight the home crowd at Roland Garros and reach the semi-finals of the event for the first time thanks to a 7-5 6-3 6-3 win.

The Frenchman was a deserved winner as Federer looked lethargic and far from his best, and Tsonga put on a masterful display on Court Philippe Chatrier to send the 17-time grand slam champion packing and book his place in the last-four.

Tsonga banished the painful events of 12 months ago when he blew four match points to lose out to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a five-set marathon.

Federer on the other hand was one win away from setting the record for most wins at Roland Garros at 59, but the Swiss will have to wait until 2014 to etch his name into history as it appeared his tie against Gilles Simon in five sets in the previous round took a lot of energy out of him.

"Should have never gotten broken after being up 4‑2 in the first set. In hindsight now that's obviously a huge game for me, and things didn't go well from then on for me today."

"This is obviously a crushing loss," Federer told reporters following a quick shirt change. "I struggled a little bit everywhere. Personally, I'm pretty sad about the match and the way I played."

"Jo-Willy played great today. He was better than me in all areas today. He returned better than I did, served better than I did. I struggled to find my rhythm."

"I'm just disappointed I couldn't put in a better match today."

Federer did not even have to look at the statistics to know just how badly his day had gone.
For the record he produced zero aces, three double faults - including one on break point - 34 unforced errors and won only 58 percent of points on his first serve.

The numbers were certainly not adding up for a man who has lit up the world stage for a decade sweeping up a record 17 grand slam trophies in the process.

Tsonga was aggressive from the beginning of the contest, but could not convert his break point in Federer's opening service game. Instead, it was Federer who claimed the first break in the fifth game when he flashed a cross-court forehand winner.

With the break consolidated at 4-2, Tsonga hit back to take three games on the spin, reclaiming the break in the seventh game when Federer was in command at 40-15.

Federer with a forehand smash levelled at 5-5 to stay in the set, but when Tsonga once again applied the pressure on Federer to serve to keep the set alive, the Swiss failed to come up with an answer as Tsonga at the fourth attempt claimed the set thanks to a wayward Federer forehand.

The Federer forehand which was proving to be dangerous early on was now a concern for the second seed, and Tsonga with a run of 11 out of 12 points raced into a 3-0 lead at the start of the second set.

When Federer reduced the deficit to two at 4-2, Tsonga held his nerve to go two sets in front, and now Federer was staring defeat in the face.

A double fault from Federer handed Tsonga the break immediately in the third set, but Federer quickly recovered to run around the Tsonga serve and execute a fine forehand winner past him to get the break back.

Play went up on serve until the seventh game as it was Tsonga who secured the break to go 4-3 in front, and then the Frenchman went to within one game of victory as Federer appeared to be fatigued from his match against Simon, before sealing the win on his second match point.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga shared a warm exchange with Roger Federer at the net. “I thanked him, because I said, ‘Okay, thank you to let me win this time because in the past it was not always this way. (Laughter.) So, you know, thank you,’” disclosed Tsonga, who had come into the match with a 3-9 Head 2 Head record against the Swiss. “We have a good relationship. He's smart. And of course he just laughed and told me, ‘Good luck for the rest of the tournament.”

"For me, it's maybe one of my best victories," said Tsonga. "But the tournament is not finished, and I hope I will have some more. Sport is beautiful because you can always do something. Even if you play the best player in the world, you have a chance. Because the guy in front of you only has two legs, two arms, one head."

Date: 4th June 2013, Source: ESPN and Reuters


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