• Federer takes on Tsonga in Australian Open quarters

    1/22/13 6:00 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Federer takes on Tsonga in Australian Open quarters Roger Federer is three wins away from a fifth title in Melbourne. Standing in his way of the semifinals on Wednesday is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

    Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be squaring off for the 12th time in their careers when they clash in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Wednesday night.

    Federer leads the head-to-head series 8-3, including 7-2 on hard courts and 2-1 at Grand Slams. Tsonga beat Federer twice in 2011 (including a comeback from two sets down at Wimbledon), but the Swiss won four in a row to end that year (including twice at the World Tour Finals).

    For the moment, Federer is playing like he has absolutely no interest in having the tables turned on him, like they were at the All-England Club. The world No. 2 has not dropped a set through four matches this fortnight, easily taking care of Benoit Paire, Nikolay Davydenko, Bernard Tomic, and Milos Raonic. Federer is aiming for his fifth Australian Open title, which would be his first since 2010.

    A slimmed-down Tsonga was on display at the Kooyong Classic earlier this month, but this is his first meaningful action of the season. So far, the Frenchman has not disappointed. He opened with straight-set dismissals of Michael Llodra, Go Soeda, and Blaz Kavcic before taking care of Richard Gasquet in four on Monday.

    "I lost many times against this guy," the underdog said of Federer. "So, of course, playing against him it's going to be a big challenge for me. I think when I play against him, you need a plan because if you just play like this with him, you will lose for sure."

    Whatever "this" is, it's something that has rarely worked for Tsonga in the past. The world No. 8 must serve huge, finish points early when he gets forehand opportunities, and his backhand has to be in rare form. Even if all of that happens, Tsonga also needs Federer to cool off in a hurry.

    Federer in three competitive sets is the pick.

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Federer in 4 sets

tennis2011 , 1/23/13 6:43 AM

Hoping for a 5 hour match :)

deuce , 1/23/13 8:05 AM

Deuce, Feds matches, even if its a five setter, will not go beyond 3.5 hr mark these days...Besides, Tsonga is not a great defender like chnaces of that happening is even lower...Don't worry, Murray's matches have been short and he will be as fresh as Fed come the semis...well if only Fed can reach that stage... :)

netcord , 1/23/13 8:17 AM

I know netcord, was just joshing. I think it'll be pretty quick myself. Fed in 3?

deuce , 1/23/13 8:47 AM

tsonga looking really good at the moment.. this looks to be a good QF after all

abhirf , 1/23/13 10:13 AM

Tsonga plays based on instinct, not much game plan involved I think; maybe that makes him exciting to watch because you just don't know what to expect from him. He can be frustrating to watch too! Not bad for being the first player to break Fed's serves this tournament and he has done it twice so far in this match.

luckystar , 1/23/13 10:56 AM

I dont understand why the commies keep talking up Tsonga so much. Sure he plays tough at times but he's far too erractic for my liking. Federer is a bit tense at the moment and the UEs are unusually high by his standard but even if Tsonga takes a set Fed will find a way through I'm sure.

ed251137 , 1/23/13 11:01 AM

i'm getting wrong feelings about this one. Tsonga looks like taking this encounter :(

abhirf , 1/23/13 11:01 AM

I want a 5 setter i dont want a Tsonga!
Roger federer is Andy's prey this time...

Twinge , 1/23/13 11:05 AM

set apiece

RickyDimon , 1/23/13 11:06 AM

so much for Nadline's unstoppable boogey man.
still early days but all the momentum is with Jo right now.

Twinge , 1/23/13 11:09 AM

wow serena ive just found out.
Its seems her only real opponent is herself.
And the occasional glass table.

Twinge , 1/23/13 11:15 AM

abhirf - you are unnecessarily worrying

Roger will find a way. Tsonga is too erratic to pull of a victory in best of 5. He has to hit a purple patch like he did at Wimby 2011 but you rarely hit a purple patch for 3 sets against the top 4.

I think Roger will close it in 4.

How is Roger playing btw? In office , cant watch. If Roger is tense against Tsonga, imagine what he will be against Murray. Against Novak, I think he knows he is the underdog, so he wll play with less of nerves.

sanju , 1/23/13 11:35 AM

mostly good. more up and down than in previous matches.

Tsonga is playing well.

RickyDimon , 1/23/13 11:36 AM

So Ricky your prediction?

sanju , 1/23/13 11:40 AM

I think tsonga playing really well, he is going for his shots, sadly they are all in like wimby 2011..3rd set is crucial for fedex if it goes to TB fedex should be careful.

chenna21 , 1/23/13 11:49 AM

Tsonga is so hopeless. He's 30-0 up but plays some stupid errors and misses the chance to break serves. If he loses this third set, he'll be gone in four sets.

luckystar , 1/23/13 11:50 AM

Thats harsh to say that on 30-0 up although his consistency is something to consider

Twinge , 1/23/13 11:52 AM

i have to say tsonga playing really well, anyway fedex won 3rd set in TB, 1 more set to go..

chenna21 , 1/23/13 11:59 AM

That backhand down the line! And third set is Roger's

OnTheRise , 1/23/13 12:00 PM

He hardly moved his feet on one of the points and allowed Fed back into the game. A bit of laziness. Where does Tsonga wants to go to tiebreaks? Fed is the tiebreak king, don't he know that?

Now Fed wins again in a tie break, that'll teach Tsonga a lesson. Even Rafa has problems against Fed in tie breaks, who's Tsonga to challenge Fed in a tiebreak? Fed simply doesn't give up any points these days and he's really clutch in tiebreaks.

luckystar , 1/23/13 12:01 PM

federer had to win his 2 sets on TB's.
Just sayin...

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:02 PM

And that's the problem! It doesn't matter whether you win in tiebreaks or not, it matters how many sets you win! Tsonga should know that going to tiebreaks means Fed is going to win most of the time! Fed isn't serving all that well tonight and this is the best time to take advantage, yet Tsonga is playing so carelessly. I hope Murray doesn't make the same mistakes that Tsonga does. Btw how's Murray's tiebreak records vs the top four, and Fed in particular?

luckystar , 1/23/13 12:09 PM

Fed in 4, obviously

RickyDimon , 1/23/13 12:09 PM

In the last year Murray is 3rd in TB's on the tour
Novak n Rfed are 12th and 13th ;)
Oh and Jo is 14th so i can see his rational in a way but you are correct Lucky, it was a bad move to loosen up.

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:17 PM

Actually I've nothing against Fed winning this AO; it's just that since Rafa is not around, I hope for someone other than the top four to win this AO, preferably a new slam winner this time. I'm disappointed with Berdych, now I think I'm going to be disappointed with Tsonga; next will be Ferrer!

luckystar , 1/23/13 12:18 PM

break points being saved/squandered all over the place

RickyDimon , 1/23/13 12:19 PM

"Actually I've nothing against Fed winning this AO.."

Really, i would be appalled!
Andy needs to wins this one, sorry Ferrer and Tsonga never really had a chance.

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:21 PM

^^ OK, I should say nothing against any of the top three winning this, just has the wishful thinking of having any of the no.5 to no.8 ranked guy winning this one.

luckystar , 1/23/13 12:26 PM

tsonga isnt going anywhere. looks like the match will be decided in the 5th set

abhirf , 1/23/13 12:29 PM

The match is very tight looks like. Fans of Fed might be going thru multiple panic attacks :-)

At times I feel so relieved Rafa is not playing, I am saved of all the tension :-). I know wrong thing to say but the tension is too much :-)

sanju , 1/23/13 12:29 PM

^^One of the 5 to 8 might win a slam when they can take Roger's place in the top 4.
Without that no chance!
But it would be nice.
Anyway Andy has just started out so you shouldnt lump him in with Rfedup who probably will never get out of the way as there is too much money behind him.

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:29 PM

Every break is having a break back. Ridiculous

sanju , 1/23/13 12:31 PM

Sorry but Federer is simply not looking good enough to be up against a priming Murray thats just itching for this moment.

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:33 PM

Yep. Unless Fed failed badly this year, I doubt anyone of those no.5-8 guys would be able to take his place. And now Tsonga lost his serve after breaking serve, really, what's this guy thinking? He thinks he can break Fed's serves as and when he pleases?

luckystar , 1/23/13 12:33 PM

chill this is going the distance Lucks...

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:35 PM

^^^ at the moment it does look like that

abhirf , 1/23/13 12:36 PM

^^^luckystar, looks like Tsonga can break Federer as and when he pleases!

nadline , 1/23/13 12:37 PM

And now we have a breakathon, goodness, who's going to win this fourth set?

luckystar , 1/23/13 12:37 PM

Tsonga is the `better` player here

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:38 PM

tsonga is gonna win the 5th set and the match. he is too much pumped up at the moment. And a Pumped up Tsonga is the most dangerous opponent one can get.

abhirf , 1/23/13 12:40 PM

Oh yes, there's a ray of hope for Tsonga at last! Now Tsonga please concentrate, no more erratic play from now on. At least there's no tie break in the fifth set!

luckystar , 1/23/13 12:40 PM

Tsonga in 5 now. What a day, Serena out Roger out!

tennismania , 1/23/13 12:41 PM

The worst case scenario is....
Roger is hanging on now.
I hoped for a Roger Murray semi but I'm sure there will be many other opportunites.
Roger still thinks he's the best as do many of his fans (and quite a few of his enemies it seems), so there's still time.

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:43 PM

Tsonga hitting incredible winners on both wings

abhirf , 1/23/13 12:43 PM

did i not say to all of you quivering weenies that Roger thrashing the likes of Davy Raonic and Tomic did NOT indicate his 3rd rennaisance?
Too many people are stuck in the past here & bought the hype.
Too much fedal nostalgia.

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:48 PM

Yes Twinge, there'll be other opportunities. If Tsonga gets through, a Murray/Tsonga SF is also interesting.

luckystar , 1/23/13 12:49 PM

^^Roger is improving stats wise now but Tsonga has hit 60 winners in this match.

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:50 PM

finally roger is ahead points wise. Making his move early.

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:52 PM

he breaks is this the start of the Tsonga implosion?

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:53 PM

Sometimes Tsonga can get overwhelmed by the occasion and makes some strange shot selections. Fed is a lot more experienced. Looks like Fed is going to win this one, leading 3-1 now in the fifth set. If he's able to hold serve till the end, he'll win.

luckystar , 1/23/13 12:54 PM

lol i take everything back (for now)
this could be over quite quickly.

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:55 PM

the key in the 4th set was the 2nd serve pts won. Fed made a mess of those.

abhirf , 1/23/13 12:56 PM

"Sometimes Tsonga can get overwhelmed by the occasion"

I think Tsonga overwhelmes himself sometimes (ie often) the occasion is something that probably wouldn't, in of itself.

Twinge , 1/23/13 12:58 PM

fed is playing the break points awfully

abhirf , 1/23/13 1:01 PM

now its Tsonga that is hanging on.
So much for federer's atrocious 5th set record,
it is much improved currently now, another sign that he is a better player than before.

Twinge , 1/23/13 1:02 PM

46 winners to 46 ufs
terrible from Roger but he is still ahead.

Twinge , 1/23/13 1:03 PM

Seriously, after watching Berdych and Tsonga playing here, it makes me appreciate Rafa, Nole and Murray more. Those three guys are younger, but they're more battle hardened, more experienced in big matches and big moments, and they're so fit, so quick, and oh so talented! I'm sure they have better shot selections than both Berdych and Tsonga and better court craft. They'll never underestimate Fed, like Tsonga just did and watched a forehand passing shot flied past him and landing in.

luckystar , 1/23/13 1:03 PM

Roger would never have survived the other 3 of 4 with this performance.
He will probably expect Andy to be nervous tomorrow and gain confidence from that.
But its not going to be a final this time.

Twinge , 1/23/13 1:07 PM

I don't think Fed has better fifth sets records now, not forgetting how he managed to lose to Tsonga at Wimbledon 2011; Nole at USO 2010 and 2011. Against low ranked players maybe but not the top eight guys.

luckystar , 1/23/13 1:09 PM

How anecdotal of you Lucky, he is now 7th this year.
Historically he was barely in the top 100 (93rd)

Twinge , 1/23/13 1:12 PM

Oh well, this was definitley a match that was `on Tsongas racquet` however ;)
Now for the big time

Twinge , 1/23/13 1:19 PM

Shake my head and sigh, what a wasted chance for Tsonga. There goes my hope for a Tsonga/Murray SF. Got to applaud Fed for hanging tough till the very end. When are those no.5-no.8 guys going to have a breakthrough? The top four are like an impenetrable wall, none of the other guys could break it down to win the coveted slam title. It's as if the slams are for the top four exclusively.

luckystar , 1/23/13 1:25 PM

I think sheer old age will help at some point Lucky,
Alas Tsonga Berdych etc arent getting any younger either.
If it happens it happens.

Twinge , 1/23/13 1:28 PM

finally Fed escapes through.. Time for the big SF. Fed will have to be more consistent if he has to win against Muzz.

abhirf , 1/23/13 1:28 PM

so BORED of Rfedup and most of his fans!
cmon the Muzz

Twinge , 1/23/13 1:30 PM

great match. nowhere near epic like Djoker and Wawa, but very good.

RickyDimon , 1/23/13 1:33 PM

Another terrific match...and a nice long one too. Tsonga played so well in the 4th. and at times made Rog look ordinary, but deary me lost his way at the beginning of the 5th., Rogie ypped his game and the rest, as they say, is history.
Congrats to Rog., experience won in the end.

deuce , 1/23/13 1:38 PM

I couldn't see the whole match. I went office when it in the middle of the 4th set.

So far it was a really god match, both players were playing awesome tennis and that forced them to commit some stupid errors, from both sides.

I did not see the 5th set, but Federer played really well against a red-hot Tsonga and everybody knows what a red-hot Tsonga can do.

Don't wash him out just because he commited too many UEs, gives Tsonga some credit.

I hope Muzz-Roger lives up to my expectations now!

Emiliano55 , 1/23/13 2:03 PM

Well with Berdych, Delpo and Tsonga all not being able to reach the SF, not to mention the final, Rafa's no.5 position is secured for the time being. I hope Rafa can return to the top four very soon, maybe by the end of the SA clay court swing? It's just not right without Rafa in the top four; whichever top four getting Rafa in the QF would be at a big disadvantage.

luckystar , 1/23/13 3:32 PM

Can you imagine a Rafa-Nole in the QF of Roland Garros ? That should be defeinitely a shocker. Would love to see that happen.

Emiliano55 , 1/23/13 4:01 PM

If that happens, Rafa will be the one winning. Just look at their QF records at the FO and you'll know who's the better player. In fact I feel it's relatively easier for Rafa to beat Nole at the QF stage than in the Final. The top three or four guys should be more worried at the FO, Rafa shouldn't even bother who he meets there (of course I'm talking about a 100 % fit and healthy Rafa back to his good old form on clay).

luckystar , 1/23/13 4:28 PM

Novak will win the FO at some point however but now Rafa has basically entered just about every cc tournament in the americas to prepare for his usual european run. It would be foolish to bet your house on him doing it this year.

Twinge , 1/23/13 4:36 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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