Wawrinka Wins Tsonga Stare-Down, Sets Up Federer Meeting at Aussie Open
by Jeremy Davis | January 24th, 2017, 8:29 am
  • 85 Comments

No. 17 seed Roger Federer moved into the Australian Open semifinals on Tuesday for the 13th time in his career, defeating Germany’s Mischa Zverev 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 to set up a meeting with Swiss countryman Stan Wawrinka.


Federer’s astonishing numbers included 65 winners and just 13 unforced errors.

“If someone would have told me I’d play in the semis against Stan, never would I have called that one for me,” Federer said. “For Stan, yes, but not for me. I honestly didn’t even know a few days ago that he was in my section of the draw or I’m in his section.”

Federer ran through a 5-0 lead and the first set, anticipating the net rushing that for Zverev had been so successful against Andy Murray. Against Federer, not so much.

“I like when he puts in a nice volley past me,” Federer said. “I just think it’s a nice play, there’s nothing you can do about it. Then you move on. That’s why maybe I stayed as calm as I did today. Maybe it has helped me, too, in my comeback, no doubt about it.”

In the second set Federer was serving at 4-5, 30-30, but reeled off six straight points to keep the momentum and eventually close out the match.

Wawrinka likewise rolled Tuesday, defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-3, despite taking the court in a state of various taping and bandages.

The Swiss No. 1′s movement seemed to be hampered in the first set as he warmed up, but Tsonga gave him ample time to get adjusted by spraying a number of unforced errors.

“I think the beginning of the match was quite tense from both sides,” Wawrinka said. “We were maybe a little bit looking too much about what the other will do, waiting a little bit the other to do something on the court. But I think condition were not easy. It was quite fast, was a little bit windy, flying a little bit. It was important to serve well.”

An odd incident occurred during the match on a changeover when the players appeared to admonish one another for staring.

“I think you already know it,” Wawrinka said during his post-match conference. “You already know everything. It’s on TV. You for sure heard everything on TV. You heard from Jo. I think there’s not much else to say. As I say, it’s a tennis match. You can have some tension during the match between players. Sometimes it can happen. Most important is that after the match it’s all good.”

Federer said the semifinal with Wawrinka will be familiar territory.

“I think him and Rafa [Nadal] know my best game,” said Federer, who has never lost to Wawrinka on hard courts. “I played him so much. Stan and I practiced so much together. With Rafa, I only practiced once in my life, whereas with Stan, I can’t even keep count anymore. Yeah, I guess those two guys know me very well.”

Wednesday’s quarterfinal action in Melbourne will see (11) David Goffin vs. (15) Grigor Dimitrov, and (9) Rafael Nadal vs. (3) Milos Raonic.


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85 Comments for Wawrinka Wins Tsonga Stare-Down, Sets Up Federer Meeting at Aussie Open

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Stunning tennis from Roger. Worth getting up early for!

I watched both matches – the Stan/ Jo match I found surprisingly boring. They really never red-lined it. Their shots were heavy artillery, but they were mostly safe up the middle or mild angles. No one going for lines. The rallies were regularly long, very uncharacteristic for each of them.

If they each bring their QF games, Fed will march over Stan. That’s a big IF though, and I don’t expect it. Stan will be more aggressive, Fed will probably drop a notch (almost impossible not to from THIS performance). I still think Fed makes the finals.

Fed was just magnificent against Zverev. It was something like 65 winners to 13 UE for Fed. Can someone cite any match stats like that? Fed’s second serve was fantastic, his return of serve was great… everything worked for him. Even a couple sabres near the end.

Three things that Fed was able to do that (I think) Murray struggled with:

1) Better second serve, Zverev hardly troubled his serve.
2) Took the net away; Zverev did not have NEAR as many net points against Fed because Fed would be there first so many times
3) Ridiculous in-the-zone passing shots, plus lobs


Tennis Vagabond Says:

The stats are incredible. Zverev hit 30 winners and just 13 UEs – great stats when he could connect. Only problem was, he couldn’t even get a racquet on the 65 Fed winners.

The s+v specialist Zverev was only successful 40% of the time at the net, while Fed had a 72% success rate.


RZ Says:

Lakie has held on to the ATP bracket lead. (I think they have been updated).


RZ Says:

The Swiss Mini People Twitter account has chimed in on the stare-down. https://twitter.com/SwissMinipeople/status/823919466140618752


rognadfan Says:

@TV,

Stan vs Jo was probably boring because of the very reason you stated, both have heavy artillery. There is some trade-off associated when you go big: you can’t always target the lines and corners.

For Stan, if he only plays a just a little more patient game from the baseline, Federer will have a very very difficult time, even with the level he’s been playing. Sheer power will push Fed back after a few rallies.
Key for Federer will be to exploit Stan’s return game to safeguard his own serve. Given how well he has been returning this whole tournament, he will surely get some chances to break Stan.


Emily Says:

I think a big factor for Stan will be belief. He can’t think about the fact that it’s Roger, he just has to develop a game plan and serve well. If he can control the baseline, he could be in good shape.

The Stan-Jo match was pretty boring as they were just trying to hit each other off the court. Tsonga really seemed resigned to losing from early on and showed no emotion. Stan was the one getting riled up, and it helped him cross the finish line. I think it’s interesting that they asked Jo about the conversation he had with Stan and he said it should stay between them, while Stan just pointed out that it’s on television so everyone knows. He clearly knows about mikes picking up what players say.

Really shocked that Federer has only practiced with Rafa once. Why would that be the case, does he think Rafa’s style wouldn’t help him on the practice court?


RZ Says:

@Emily – I was wondering about that too with Roger/Rafa’s practice. Maybe he didn’t want to give Rafa more time with him based on his bad record against Rafa? But on the flip side it might have helped Roger with his match-up problem.


Okiegal Says:

Gorgeous backhand against gorgeous backhand…. should be a beautiful match, no? Looking forward to this one… but I think Roger will be going for his 18th!!


madmax Says:

TV,

It was certainly stunning. That lob at 7 minutes 38 seconds – just WOW!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj_jOCO6r4g

Not only that, the two challenges he made – the ball just kissed the line – how DID he know?

Beautiful to watch! MAGIC.


madmax Says:

Stan has belief and has walked his own pathway for many years – won 3 slams during the last 5 years – and, is just as hungry as Roger.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

When Stan has won his Slams, he hasn’t just bludgeoned the ball. He has beaten Novak by taking risks and going for lines and winners. This is also how he beat Rog at the French and in his amazing performance in Monte Carlo.

I believe we will see him do that in the semis.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

But, realistically… Fed is 13-0 on hard courts against Stan.


Daniel Says:

Now that you mentioned it TV, every Slam Wawa won he had to go through Djoko. Since Djoko lost earliy, this is another indicator Wawa is not winnng this one;-) Fedal all the way.


J-Kath Says:

What a terrible picture!


Renneil Says:

Federer is 35 and plays like a 25 yr old….30 is the new 20?


Tennisfansince1976 Says:

I think Fed is the favorite against Stan. A big factor is that the AO COURTS are much faster this year. According to some of the announcers these courts are now the fastest of any of the grand slams even Wimbledon. On a slower court Stan could maybe overpower Roger as he did at FO 2015. On the faster USO courts later that summer Roger discombobulated Stan.


skeezer Says:

Agree TF76, anything can happen but Rog loves the low bouncing quick courts. Stan has a big wind up so if Fed can attack and play offense it should work in his favor. We’ll see. Nice to see some faster courts those slow courts(=loooong matches) were putting me to sleep.


RZ Says:

I would pick Stan as the favorite but he played his last match with taping. That’s unusual for him to have preventative bandaging so I’m guessing he has a minor injury.

Also, Stan wins grand slams when his outfit is ugly, but Fed has an ugly shirt. So it’s hard to predict. :-)


Margot Says:

Lol RZ…judging by the criteria some people on here go on, predicting by dreadfulness of clothing is as good as any.


Anto Says:

yeah Rafa won the first set 6-4. Very good first set by Rafa. If Rafa keeps this play up he is gonna win.


Willow Says:

Anto hope your right ;-) ….


J.S. Says:

WOOOHOOO STILL HOLDING MY BREATH THOUGH!! Milos is struggling with his serve. Let’s see if he fixes it in 2nd set?

GO RAFA!!!


Willow Says:

Both players need to speed up between points ….


J.S. Says:

WILLOW – Agree!!! Usually it’s Rafa but Milos is over 20 too.

Anyone know why Milos asked for trainer??


Anto Says:

Yeah I just saw this. What happened to Milos?


Willow Says:

J.S Yes ive always believed in being fair ….


Willow Says:

What on earth, dear me Rafa ? ….


J.S. Says:

twitter said Milos took potty break?? twitter said Milos asked for trainer??
HAHA who knows?
But, he doens’t seem to be hurting~
Scary for Rafa right now, down 0-30 4-5 dang it! COME ON NADAL!


Willow Says:

Clutch ? ….


Anto Says:

Phew, that was close.


J.S. Says:

WILLLOW – He did it! Famous for thriving under pressure! This might go tie breaker – UGH!
5-5


Willow Says:

J.S LOL Good play on words, you would think he would be toilet trained by now :-) ….


Anto Says:

Raonic more comfortable in his service games.


Daniel Says:

Woke up and saw Raonic missing 2 set points. Nadal made some
Silly misses in that game and even so he wasn’t able to break. At least he held and guarantee tiebreak. Nadal serving down 5-6.


Willow Says:

Love to see that FH DTL by Rafa doing its magic again ;-) ….


Daniel Says:

Raonic gavin problems to kill some points, as if he doesn’t know what to do. Nadal solid


Daniel Says:

Unbelievable, DF serving for second set 6-5!!! If he doesn’t win this set he loses the match in that serve. Bizarre, felt the pressure


Willow Says:

I Couldnt believe that either nerves i suppose ? ….


Anto Says:

hell yeah nadal wins the second se


Willow Says:

Now SP for Nadal on Raonic serve, oh dear felt for Milos there a touch unlucky with the net cord ….


Anto Says:

Nadal saved 6/5 set points. When was the last time nadal saved sets points like this. Sure its been long i believe.


J.S. Says:

OMG!!!! I cannot believe that just happened, DF and now down 2 – 0!!!!
As much as I want Rafa to win, feel for the kid!!!

Nadal has the advantage now!
Still want to know why Milos called for trainer?? If you find out, please post, TY


Daniel Says:

After saving 5 set points on is first he wins. And what is odd because Nadal was feeling the pressure early in the breaker misisng some shots from back of the court, but when it became close time to Raonoc he was the one choking.

Np way Nadal loses this match now, dent in Raonic confodence who can even clpse a tie breka on serve. Eventually Nadal will get a break this set for a straight set win.


Anto Says:

Even though Raonic kinda got tight there I am glad nadal kept his nerve. It looks like his mental strength too is slowing coming back.


FedExpress Says:

Biggest mental midget on planet, Milos Raonic, the World No 3.
hahahahahhahahahahahahha


J.S. Says:

ANTO – HE is SO fun to watch when playing like this, LOVE HIM!


FedExpress Says:

useless mug. should reitre. no point to continue his career.


J.S. Says:

Who is a “mug” and what is a “mug”?
Help here…LOL


Rick Says:

Rafa and Warinka another Australian Open final.


Anto Says:

JS,

Very true Nadal is freaking awesome when he is full of confidence.


Anto Says:

It would be really great for Nadal if he could wrap this in three sets.


J.S. Says:

I think Rafa has decided to end this party – great shots!! WOW

Hoping for 3 too…ANTO!! Pretty Please :)


Willow Says:

I Dont like to tempt fate, prefer to remain on the cautious side ….


Willow Says:

Rafa seems to be hitting his groundstrokes deeper and flatter to me ….


Anto Says:

Raonic kinda down the moment. It would be a good time to go for broke.


Anto Says:

for Rafa


Anto Says:

But Milos still is serving good at clutch moments. Nadal twice or thrice reached 30 in Roanic’s serve but never got any break point oppurtunity.


Anto Says:

I think Raonic is kinda looking for the tiebreaker here. He is not doing much on Nadal’s serve.


FedExpress Says:

hoping Dimi doesnt bend over like ranic.


Anto Says:

OMG Rafa is through to the semi finals of a GS after almost 3 years. Hell yeah


FedExpress Says:

nadal got lucky to play two top 10 clowns in succession.


Humble Rafa Says:

You are welcome, you deserve it. When the real tennis season begins, it will be fun.


Giles Says:

Rafa Rafa Rafa Rafa Rafa!!
Well done Champ!
Vamos!


Navdeep Says:

yes yes yes! Unbelievable stuff . A straight set match! awesome
keep it going champ
vamosssssssssssssssssssssssssssassss


Willow Says:

It was Navdeep, really a pleasure to see him playing that way, seems to be moving better, and has confidence in himself again, and love seeing that BH DTL working its magic again ….


Navdeep Says:

Willow, I can’t tell you how happy I am right now! I hope this is not a dream ! omg I need to calm myself down ! I am jumping in my bed!


Willow Says:

Navdeep for you https://youtu.be/y6Sxv-sUYtM lol ….


All Out Says:

As i expected. Rafa raised his level when it mattered. Dimitrov is tricky but luckily, Rafa has got a lifetime of experience facing a certain Roger Federer who Dimi sort of emulates. I dont expect it to be a walkover but i do expect nadal to make yet another Australian Open final.The other semifinal is tricky. On one hand, Stan has proven to be a big match player the last few years. On the other hand, he’s always been a mental midget to Roger. Which Stan will show up for the semis is the interesting question.
Here’s to hoping for a Fedal final. And a 15th Grand Slam for Rafael Nadal. VAMOS!!


Navdeep Says:

All the men’s quarterfinals ended in straight sets!


J.S. Says:

WOW I am so excited for RAFA! It’s been a long time and him falling to his knees gave me cold chills. CHEERS to all the Nadal fans – I think he makes it to finals too :) But, will be watching on the edge of my seat.

Moving up in the baseline was the trick on returning Raonic’s serves. Rafa had chances to break in the 3rd but does it at 5-4 – EPIC!!!

I AM THRILLED!!!! WOOOHOOOOO!!!!


Anto Says:

@Navdeep, yeah its kinda strange these thing usually only happen in women’s tennis. But given the fact that the two best players who are also very consistent are out of the tournament before qfs, Rafa is in the semi of a gs after sooo long and roger coming back from a long time out and making the gs semi, kinda makes that fact not so strange doesn’t it?


Navdeep Says:

Anto, I am happy with the straight set result because it doesn’t give anyone an added advantage in the semis . They all will be fresh and energetic.


J.S. Says:

It’s awesome for Fed, Nadal and tennis fans!

Rafa buckled down and didn’t give up 1 point in the last 2 games to finish it – So Amazing!


J.S. Says:

Here is the answer to Milos Raonic medical time out…..See the following link

http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2017-01-25/milos_raonic_250117.html


J-Kath Says:

J.S., Willow, AMira & Okiegal – Very pleased Rafa won so convincingly – saw most of the match and he did play so well.

J.S. “Mug” is usually used referring to someone’s face e.g. get your “ugly mug out of here” etc. Can be a joke. But a “mugger” also means someone who attacks someone.


J.S. Says:

Oh haha I thought someone was being ugly about Rafa! And, regardless if they like him or not, you must respect the talent!! GEEZ!
It could’ve gone either way in the 2nd set and possibly changed the outcom…..BUT IT DIDN’T!

RAFA played amazing….who wanted to see him returning from inside the court?? Well he listened and DID it, what a smart move! Wonder if his “new” coach helped with that strategy?

Sounds like FED and NADAL have something to prove and are bound/determined to show everyone – HATS OFF TO THEM!


Anto Says:

If Rafa reaches the final and he gets Stan. I don’t care which stan shows up I really would love to see Nadal defeat Stan just for 2014′s sake. But if its Nadal vs Federer final I just want an awesome match. I wont care about the result. Even a part of me wants Federer to win the match just so that his “so called fans” will realise he is not a mental midget as others point him out to be when facing Nadal.

As for Nadal win the Australian Open. It will be a double Career Grand Slam for him


J.S. Says:

ANTO I AGREE W/ EVERYTHING :)

It will be fun to chat more after tomorrow Wawrinka/Federer match. Then we can really have fun on who should/could lift the trophy!!


AndyMira Says:

JK…Thank u mucho!gotta admit..with rafa win, it can cure a little my sadness and disappointment over andy loss the other day..Once again thank u for your kind words..


Margot Says:

So pleased for you darling AM, OK and all Rafa fans…..even Giles…;)


AndyMira Says:

@M…He he..Thank you Boss!Coming from you means so much to me!


Willow Says:

Thankyou Dear Margot ;-) ….


Willow Says:

Thankyou also J-Kath ;-) ….


Okiegal Says:

I want to thank two lovely ladies for sweet comments regarding Rafa’s win……
@Margot
@J-Kath…….appreciate it very much. I was so sorry about Andy…..not his day. Rafa is playing so much better but Grigor will be no push over…….will we see a Fedal final? I hope so….thanks again….means a lot!!

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