Federer cut down by inspired Tsonga despite 2-set lead
Updated: 2011-06-30 09:19
Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts during his quarter-final match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 29, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France hits a return to Roger Federer of Switzerland during their quarter-final match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 29, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
LONDON - Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga shredded the Wimbledon script with a devastating fightback to knock six-times champion Roger Federer out on Wednesday and clinch a semi-final showdown against Novak Djokovic.
Federer's unlikely 3-6 6-7 6-4 6-4 6-4 capitulation on a stunned Centre Court was the first time he had lost a grand slam match from two sets up and meant there would be no repeat of the repeat of the semi-final line-up at the French Open in which the world's leading quartet faced off.
The other usual suspects will be present although defending champion Rafa Nadal had painkilling jabs to numb the pain of a mystery foot injury before a 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-4 defeat of American Mardy Fish to set up a repeat of last year's semi-final against Briton Andy Murray.
Fourth seed Murray, who also lost to Nadal in the French Open semis this month, outclassed unseeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-4 6-4 to the delight of the Centre Court crowd dreaming of a first British men's singles winner for 75 years.
Djokovic, eyeing his first title at the grasscourt slam and the world number one ranking, ended the dream run of Australian teenager Bernard Tomic in a cat and mouse duel on Court One, although the 24-year-old second seed was far from his best.
Federer's defeat in the quarter-finals for the second consecutive year came completely out of the blue.
The 29-year-old Swiss has been in sublime form during the championships and was strongly fancied to win a seventh Wimbledon title to match the feat of American Pete Sampras.
The first two sets resembled nothing more than a light sparring session for Federer as he went through his silky repertoire to build a commanding lead.
His title bid began to disintegrate, though, as Tsonga broke in the fifth game to halt Federer's momentum and he overpowered the 16-times grand slam champion with a stunning display of fearless tennis.
"I felt so good on the court. I was quick. I was just perfect today," Tsonga told reporters after only his second comeback from a two-set deficit. "Every time I was feeling like a dream."
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