Federer, Nishikori crash out of French Open
Updated: 2015-06-03 10:34
PARIS - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga treated the home crowd with a comeback win over Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori and reached the semifinals at Roland Garros here on Tuesday.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France celebrates after defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan during their men's quarter-final match during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, June 2, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
"Roland, je t'aime (I love you, Roland)," wrote the 14-seeded Frenchman on the red clay of Court Philippe Chatrier following the 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 victory, using the sole of his right shoe.
He then lay down on the court with arms and leg widely spread amid the cheers and applause from 15,000 spectators on the stands.
It has been the second semifinal Tsonga reached in the French Open, and his sixth at a Grand Slam event.
Nishikori, however, failed to make the history by becoming the first Japanese in 82 years to contest a men's singles semifinal at Roland Garros.
The 2014 US Open runner-up was down 6-1, 5-2 before a three-meter-long metal panel crashed off a giant TV screen in strong winds, fell on spectators and injured one.
Play resumed about half an hour later and Nishikori still lost the second set 6-4 before finding a new gear to come back 6-4, 6-3 in the next two sets but lost the decisive set 6-3 to Tsonga, the big hitter.
The 30-year-old former top-rated Frenchman, who skipped some events to lose points due to injury, will face Stan Wawrinka on Friday after the eighth seed ousted fellow Swiss Roger Federer.
With an almost perfect showdown, Wawrinka, 30, handed out a straight-set victory, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4) over the 17-times major winner Federer, who struggled to find his rhythm during the match.
To comment on the 2014 Australian Open winner Wawrinka, Federer said: "The Australian was a surprise for many, but the French people always thought this is where he would get closer to winning potentially."
"I thought he played really good tennis out there today," he added.
On women's part, Anna Ivanovic of Serbia has guaranteed a return to the last four since 2008 when she came out as the winner.
The seventh seed saw off Ukraine's Elina Svitolina with a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 victory, under the watch of her boyfriend, German soccer star Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Ivanovic next play Lucie Safarova in the semifinals as the Czech stunned defending champion Maria Sharapova one day earlier.