• Federer, Tsonga already set for first 2012 clash

    1/5/12 9:24 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Federer, Tsonga already set for first 2012 clash Familiar foes Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will renew their rivalry on Friday in Doha. A place in the title match is on the line.

    Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be squaring off for the 12th time in their careers, the ninth time in the last 53 weeks, and the second consecutive time in the semis of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open semis when they clash on Friday.

    Federer leads the overall head-to-head series 8-3 after winning six of last year's eight encounters. The Swiss prevailed 6-3, 7-6(2) en route to the 2011 Doha title and he beat Tsonga three times in the last two tournaments of the season; 6-1, 7-6(3) in the Paris final, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 in London round-robin action, and 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3 in the London title match. Tsonga's two victories in 2011 came at Wimbledon and the Montreal Masters, both of which went the distance.

    Tsonga will be hard-pressed to move the trend back in his favor, because Federer is in rare form at the moment. The world No. 3 ended 2011 on a 17-match winning streak as his triumphs in Paris and London were preceded by a title in Basel. Federer has extended the streak to 20 with victories in Doha over Nikolay Davydenko, Grega Zemlja, and Andreas Seppi--the latter in three tough sets.

    At the same time, though, Tsonga is playing the most consistent tennis of his career. During last year's fall swing, the Frenchman captured two titles, played in four finals, and had one more semifinal appearance. So far this week he has dismissed Malek Jaziri, Flavio Cipolla, and Albert Ramos, losing just a single set in round one to Jaziri.

    "I'm looking forward to playing him again," Federer said of Tsonga. "We played three straight Sundays at the end of last year. I hope it's going to be a good season for both us again. It should be a good match. I hope we can live up to the expectations."

    The world No. 3 will have to raise his level after Thursday's performance against Seppi, but he should be able to do it in a blockbuster semifinal and with an opponent like Tsonga on the other side of the net. Expect another three-setter, again likely to go in Federer's favor.

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I read in a tennis blog that Federer stated he is suffering some issues on his back. Is this true ?

Emiliano55 , 1/6/12 1:10 AM

yep, true

RickyDimon , 1/6/12 1:53 AM

what issues Ricky? mild or serious? Why is he playing if he has back issues? Shouldnt he be resting?

sanju , 1/6/12 4:44 AM

I hope Roger pulls out if there is even the slightest chance of agravating the injury.
This is a 250 tournament no one cares about.

If Roger steps on court today I truly believe it isn't anything serious. And so I believe he will beat Tsonga, if he plays.

bleck , 1/6/12 9:35 AM

Sad to hear that Roger is injured, I thought something was odd yesterday the way he played against Seppi. If he takes to the court today then it's a good sign that it's not that serious.

So no one cares about Doha? I thought Doha was all the rage last year when it was the only title Roger had right up to nearly the end of the year. Hilarious!!! ROFL

nadline , 1/6/12 12:00 PM

"So no one cares about Doha? I thought Doha was all the rage last year when it was the only title Roger had right up to nearly the end of the year. Hilarious!!! ROFL"

Why did you think that?!

bleck , 1/6/12 12:34 PM

Seems he is finally playing today. He is suffering some back cramps, nothing too serious from what I read.

He is pretty smart with injuries, if he finally plays I'm sure he knows he isn't taking any risk for the AO.

Emiliano55 , 1/6/12 1:22 PM

Roger withdrew. Just hope he is 100% for the AO.

bleck , 1/6/12 2:14 PM

simply can't play with back spasms. Big loss for the tournament.

And as bleck says, the more important thing is whether he'll be ready for Melbourne or now.

cherylmurray , 1/6/12 2:16 PM

its a shame,

Hope he is fully fit for AO. The tennis community badly needs a fully fit Roger in 2012

atul1985 , 1/6/12 2:20 PM

He was bad in match yesterday... but there was no indication of injury...
But if he withdrew it's probably serious... enough.
So the beginning of season is loss of some points... and some bizarre sets...

zare , 1/6/12 2:33 PM

Well it is cold.... and back is tight... so much about injury :))
And the lucky spectators will enjoy in Tsonga- Stefan Edberg match...

zare , 1/6/12 2:39 PM

This is a 250 tournament no one cares about.
bleck , 1/6/12 9:35 AM

That's why.

nadline , 1/6/12 2:43 PM

nadline I'm afraid you're not following the logic of your own posts.
See if you get it:

I wrote: "This is a 250 tournament no one cares about."
You wrote: "So no one cares about Doha? I thought Doha was all the rage last year when it was the only title Roger had right up to nearly the end of the year. Hilarious!!! ROFL"
So you said you thought Doha was important.
I wrote: "Why did you think that?!"

Care to answer?

bleck , 1/6/12 2:55 PM

bleck, Fedfans were not dissing Doha last year when that was all Roger had in his bag for months, but all of a sudden because he's had to pull out with injury, you think no one cares about a 250 event.

I thought the logic was quite easy to follow.

nadline , 1/6/12 3:02 PM

You say fedfans but surely it was few people. Who really thinks a 250 tournament is important. If it is a tournament from a player's hometown or country then it's logical that it's worth a lot to that player (basel for Roger, belgrade fo djokovic,...).

But all other 250 tournaments are not important. I say this, and think most of people will agree with me, wether Roger has just won one or not. It doens't have to do with Roger pulling out of Doha.

P.S.: I don't know any "fedfans", as you broadly put it, that have said that doha was the 5th slam or something along those lines.

bleck , 1/6/12 3:19 PM


For what it's worth, I thought your logic was quite easy to follow. However, don't expect a Fed fan to get it.

We all know that if Fed was fine and won the final, his fans would be all over the place trumpeting it and talking him up as the overwhelming favorite for the AO.

Nativenewyorker , 1/6/12 10:55 PM

When Rafa won the USO, a Fed fan (SeniorPlaid, remember him?) claimed tennis was no longer worth watching (or something to that effect. It's pretty clear how the mind of a Fed fan works - if Fed wins something, that's important. If he loses or withdraws, it's not important. The planet revolves around the great Roger Federer - naturally!!

jean , 1/7/12 3:52 AM


Wow! Senor Plaid! I honestly had forgotten about him, but now that you bring him up I well remember him posting that comment.

We can only imagine what we would have had to deal with if Rafa had to pull out with an injury. I don't even want to contemplate what would have been posted.

Nativenewyorker , 1/7/12 9:04 AM

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