2nd seed Roger Federer defeated 7th seed Jo-Wilfired Tsonga in a five-set thriller to enter the semifinal of Australian Open 2013 where he will meet Andy Murray.
Another spectacular tennis show at Rod Laver Arena today – the spectators had to wait for three and a half hours and five sets to celebrate the last semifinalist of this year’s Australian Open. In the end, it was Federer who could raised hands in the sign of victory, but Tsonga’s triumph would have been more than deserved as well.
Although the first-game break might have indicated differently, it was never going to be an easy ride for the Swiss Maestro. Resilient Frenchman found answers to almost everything FedEx threw his way and broke back soon enough in the opener. The set ultimately went to the tie-break where Federer achieved an early mini-break and generated a couple of set balls at 6-4. Tsonga approached the net to defend the first one, but the Swiss replied strongly, so his opponent’s backhand volley hit the net – one nil for the four-time Melbourne champion.
In the second the number of Federer’s errors was growing and so was Tsonga’s confidence. The Frenchman stole his rival’s serve in the seventh game and would not let go off the lead. Serving for the set at 5-4, he produced a triple set ball and tucked away the second one.
The third set resembled the opening one. The Swiss grabbed a break for a 2-0 lead, yet it remained unconfirmed. A game for game tennis followed until the athletes reached the second tie-break of the night. Both players were dropping serves, yet Federer controlled his nerves better and got his nose in front once again – it was 2-1 in sets.
The seventh seed Frenchman was certainly not about to give up – he was back on track in the fourth set, especially after rescuing a triple break ball in the third game. Federer gave away his serve in the sixth game, clawed back immediately, but suffered another lost service game and gifted his challenger a 5-3 lead. At this point the audience could enjoy Tsonga’s repertoire of great serves, astonishing returns and powerful shots that always seemed to be right on target. He rounded up his impressive fourth set performance with an ace (he scored 20 in total) that took the clash to the decider.
As is turned out, FedEx was able to resist Tsonga’s pressure and raised the level of his game once again. The Frenchman was on the back foot for most of the time and eventually he found himself 4-1 behind. Federer started turning in the screw now, forcing the opponent to save four match balls on his own serve at 5-2. Tsonga ultimately held the service game and stayed in the tournament for now, yet he was facing the fifth match ball shortly after. Federer smashed that one away and secured his spot in the semis with an exhausting 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3 victory.