Tuesday, June 04, 2013

2013 FRENCH OPEN: Tsonga Beats Federer To Reach Semi!

As I predicted, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga took out Roger Federer in straight sets of the 2013 French Open quarterfinals, 7-5 6-3 6-3. Federer was playing in his 36th consecutive major quarterfinal and was trying to reach his record 34th major semifinal. He went up an early break and was serving 4-3, 40-15 when everything went to pot. Tsonga broke and held his own serve easily. Federer went down 0-40 at 5-6 and saved 3 set points before succumbing on the fourth breakpoint with a shanked forehand to lose the set. The Swiss Great was broken early in the second set and never really looked comfortable on the court, making uncharacteristic errors (on overheads and volleys) and not moving as fluidly on the clay.

Even though I am a huge Federer fan I am very happy for Tsonga to reach his first semifinal in his home country's slam, equaling the achievement his countryman Gaël Monfils did in 2008. If Tsonga is able to reach the final, he will do something no French man has done since 1988, when Henri Leconte lost in the final to Mats Wilander. It has been even longer, 30 years, since a French man won the singles title here, which Yannick Noah did in 1983.

Tsonga will face David Ferrer who demolished his countryman Tommy Robredo 6-2 6-1 6-1 to reach his second consecutive French Open semifinal. Of course, the participants in this half of the draw are not expected to win the title against either World #1 Novak Djokovic or defending champion Rafael Nadal, should those two meet in the semifinal on Friday.

Ferrer has never reached a major final, while Tsonga has (2008 Australian Open). Tsonga has played in 5 major semifinals, while Ferrer has played in (and lost) in 6. The Spaniard's best surface is clay, however. The two have only played 3 times, with Ferrer leading 2-1, including their one clay court match. I will be rooting for Tsonga to reach his 2nd major final, but won't be too upset if Ferrer finally gets to his first.

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