Tsonga Hammers Federer, Advances To First French Open Semifinal
by Staff | June 4th, 2013, 2:15 pm

Now at 31, Roger Federer continues to have difficulty against the top players. Today in the French Open quarterfinals, Federer got waxed routinely by the world No. 8 Tsonga 7-5, 6-3, 6-3.

Federer, playing in his 36th straight Slam quarterfinals, had beaten Tsonga in nine of 12 meetings, and after leading by a break 4-3 and serving 40-15, it looked like the trend would continue. But in this matchup it was all Tsonga who scored his first straight-set win over the Swiss.

“I thought he played great today” said Federer who’s lone Top 10 win this year came over Tsonga in Australia. “He was in all areas better than me today, that’s why the result was pretty clean. No doubt about it. I was impressed by the way he played today. They have much more energy here, the French guys, than maybe elsewhere. I struggled a little bit everywhere.

“To be honest, personally, I’m pretty sad about the match and the way I played, but that’s how it goes, you know. I tried to figure things out, but it was difficult. And Jo does a good job keeping the pressure on. He can serve his way out of trouble at times, he returned better than I did. I struggled to find my rhythm.”

The loss leaves Federer still titleless since Cincinnati last August and without a Slam final since Wimbledon. And after an error-filled session today, even earlier exits in Grand Slam play might be right around the corner.

Meanwhile Tsonga, who is trying to become the first Frenchman to win here in 30 years since Yannick Noah, advances to his first French Open semifinal where he’ll meet David Ferrer on Friday.

“Everybody’s been expecting a lot from me since the beginning of this tournament,” said Tsonga. “Not only this tournament, but every day. So I’m used to it. Now what is important, is to stay focused, to think about my next match. Because it will be extremely tough against a player who didn’t lose a single set and won with a very striking score in the quarter-finals.

“I feel I’m able to beat [Ferrer] because I believe I have the weapons for that. I have more endurance now. I’m more consistent. I hit harder than he does, and normally I serve a lot better than him.”

Ferrer returned to the semifinals after thumping an exhausted Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-1, 6-1.

“When you’re in good shape, you feel good, you can be totally motivated, you have this will to play, you’re ready to play for five hours, for five sets,” Ferrer said. “In a Grand Slam, that’s very important. When you reach the last rounds ‑ all players will tell you the same thing ‑ you have to be in a very good shape. Physically I managed to play the last round without wasting too much energy, and as you know, it’s very important. The quicker that you’re off the court, the better.”

The 31-year-old Robredo had just won three straight matches from 0-2 down.

“I wasn’t 100 per cent ready to fight in the match,” said Robredo. “Playing a guy like David, who is a machine, it’s very tough. So there was no match today. I’m not sad about losing today. I just wish [that] I had managed to fight a bit more. It was very difficult, if not impossible.”

Both Tsonga and Ferrer have yet to drop a set all tournament.

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55 Comments for Tsonga Hammers Federer, Advances To First French Open Semifinal

Brando Says:

Watching Federer lose is a sad experience even though I have never been a fan of his. Lindsay Davenport was right: seeing Fed succumb to father time is a somewhat sad sight to see more than others. It’s obvious why: during his heyday or in that sweet spot of youth – 23- 27- barring Rafa everyone was in a butt kicking on every and any surface from Fed. The guy ruled the roost like no one: hence it’s sad to see him lose when in the back of your mind one thinks: would the opponent even win 4 game v Fed at his peak? Truly: IF Fed was 26 like these guys then barring Rafa on clay he would kick the behind of the rest on all surfaces- his game was that much better than the rest!

Steve 27 Says:

Tsonga, vous gagnez le français était heureux d’une manière inimaginable. À vous de continuer sur ce chemin et atteindre la finale depuis Leconte en 1988.
Allez, Ali!

Steve 27 Says:

Truly: IF Fed was 26 like these guys then barring Rafa on clay he would kick the behind of the rest on all surfaces- his game was that much better than the rest!

Brando, not only on clay: on grass(2008) and on Hard (2009). Ande he was at that time, 26 and 27, in his absolute prime. Safin also defeated the swiss in a match of ages. So, father time is for always and I think the best way to retire is a big way like Sampras.
No need to show an inaccurate picture of you.

andrea Says:

really torn on the tsonga/ferrer semi. both would be great to win, but i give the edge to ferrer cos he’s never made it to a grand slam semi, he’s so adorably humble and for once he doesn’t have to face murray/fed/nadal or djokovic to make it.

andrea Says:

i should say he has never made it to a grand slam ‘final’.

Forehand Says:

“Brando, not only on clay: on grass(2008) and on Hard (2009). Ande he was at that time, 26 and 27, in his absolute prime.”

Hey Steve,
Dont you know that Federer was suffeing from Mono, stereo, DTS, Dolby, etc ?

Margot Says:

In 2006 Andy, as well as Rafa, were the only two players to beat Fed.

Steve 27 Says:

Hahha, Forehand, you made me smile!

The Great Davy Says:

Violation: Lack of effort warning to Mr. Federer!!!

Humble Rafa Says:

I am sad that I won’t be able to continue the rivalry at this prestigious tournament.

May be next time.

Humble Rafa Says:

Skeezer’s two cats are looking for him again. If you a man sobbing on the streets, it’s probably him. Please notify his 2 dogs immediately.

Alex Says:

Hahahah, Humble Rafa, have some sympathy pls…

I am sure if Rafa loses and doesn’t get the title, skeezer would be very sympathetic and offer you some nice condolences….:)


Im so sad! weeeeeeeeeeeee! WEEEEEEEEEEE! :)

skeezer Says:

Its all good. Ha ha.

But Look to Feds peers, his fans and fellow players for admiration and respect(and you’ll see no excuse mongering from Fed, as usual). You won’t find it from the delusional jealous Rafanatics who’s weak attempt of littering a blogsite with sh!t. You’ll never take sown his all time GS trophies. He gets to keep those, and you can’t have them no matter what you post.

Tsonga played great and was humble and respectful with the win. He knows the quality of the man he played and his all time greatness. He knows what the man has done for the game.

Giles Says:

RT@SI. BTBaseline. Tsonga said he and Rasheed sat down and watched tape of how Rafa played Roger. “I tried to do the same. It worked”

Alex Says:

@Forehand, been reading you and…

You are one sad pathetic antifan creature, come out just at the right times don’t you?

Don’t worry,your time will come, you wont be around for Rafa’s losing days though, only real fans will.

I find solos in the fact that if your comments are anything like your personal life(which is mostly so), you’re a sad lonesome little individual, not meany friends, no girl friend, have fun hating.


Ps Don’t respond cause I wont be reading about your Model babe…and 5 mil house….Rolling eyes, this is not Rafas fault, so no calling Rafanatic, I call vegematic, that’s right, your brain belongs in a freaking vegematic like a bad cabbage. (courtesy of Seinfeld :)-Skeez)

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Brando, good post. As a Fed fan its sad but undeniable that he has declined. Its been a slow decline but its been there for years. As a fan, I had had plenty of gifts from Federer as he continued winning Slams deep into his decline! But they come fewer, and then they don’t come at all.
I need a new rooting interest. I like Tsonga, but he’s old already. like Milos bit his game is not interesting enough.

Giles Says:

@Forehand. ROTFL

Alex Says:

^ ^
To hasty, Errors as usual.—–solace not solos lol.

Most important covered,


Alex Says:


Were you laughing at my post?

Or were you trying to antagonize me, lol.

Per usual:


Alex Says:

No legacy is so rich as honesty.

The only thing that plays mind games is my spelling, no?

Otherwise everything is Tipsy time>:)

skeezer Says:


GOT Red Wedding reaction eerily simular to Rafanatic fans
reaction to Rafa’s loss to Sod at FO 2009.



Ben Pronin Says:

According to Forehand and Steve27, Federer just isn’t that good. 17 slams? 300+ weeks at number 1? Irrelevant. Federer is just a mediocre shlub.

Seth Says:

To all anti-Federerites out there, please grow up and give the man some respect. He doesn’t have to be your favorite player, but his greatness in the grand scheme of the game is undeniable. These losses are going to come more and more frequently as he ages. This is just the way it is. Getting older is particularly brutal on the great ones.

All respect to Tsonga for playing lights out. And respect to him for handling the victory over an aging all-time great with class and grace.

gonzalowski Says:

The fact is that everybody knows that Rafa himself considers Federer as the best of History; not only in order to appear humble, but because he thinks so, I’m sure.

Steve 27 Says:

Hey Ben Pronin, who said that? Why did you become defensive? Can’t you read?. Do not interpret things wrongly. Your details we know, you do not need to be obvious. It seems you see ghosts where there are none. You must take benzodiazepines for anxiety that seem to suffer.

skeezer Says:

^thanks for that G ;)

the DA Says:

@skeezer – oh no you didn’t! I was just starting getting over the red wedding episode. grrrr

skeezer Says:


Feel ya, WTF? My wife did the whole scream blanket coverage thingy too. Never read the books, but friends told me to never care about any of the characters, but c’mon! That was just wrong in so many ways :(

the DA Says:

@skeezer – hadn’t read the books either (not into 1500 page epic fantasy novels) but love this TV adaptation, especially the dialogue.
And yes, completely wrong! There’s fewer characters to truly like as opposed to those you love to hate or love because they’re so terrible.

I’ll credit Martin (begrudgingly) for making me care about fictional characters. Anyway, I’ve seen hints that things get better for the Starks next season and some good new twists lie ahead.

mat4 Says:

Managed to watch the second and third sets of the match in a pause. Roger’s game was abysmal.

I wrote yesterday that the serve/return of serve could be very important: it was, even in Roland Garros. Tsonga served well, without pressure, Roger served below his usual level. Should Roger, on clay at least, stand a step or two further?

Then, there was that BH that just didn’t work. In December, Roger excelled from that side against Murray. Today, it just didn’t work.

That put more pressure on him to excel with his FH, and he overdid it, trying too early, out of position, making a lot of errors.

Tsonga played well. He found a clear plan, his sequences after the serve were good, he could always rely on a few free points here and there, and it was enough. The way he broke at 3-3 in the third set was telling: Federer missed a FH, botched a smash, Tsonga won a good rally, then just waited for Roger to miss another time. Three UE.

The sliced BH didn’t work either. Usually, Fed used it on the return, but this time the ball stayed on his side of the net most of the time, or was too short, and Tsonga won points from there, since he is very apt at generating his own pace.

I start to believe that you’re right, and that there is a “mat4 jinx”.

SG1 Says:

Hey Seth,

Don’t you know? The whole point of building someone up is that they can be torn down at lowest point. Welcome to modern media.

I’m not the biggest Federer fan but you still have to marvel at his shot making. He can still do some crazy things others just can’t. And his stroke production is far and away the most elegant in today’s game.

Come Wimbledon, he’ll still be a tangible threat if the draw isn’t impossible and the weather is reasonable. While I don’t think Federer can win another major in today’s tennis landscape, I definitely wouldn`t he CAN`T win another slam. And truth be told, the clay courts of RG would seem like the last place that he`d add to his major total.

the DA Says:

Another momentary off topic post but Andy just tweeted:

“Barring no setbacks in the next couple of days I will be making an appearence at the club of the queen next week!”

‘club of the queen’ LOL! Great news, no? Margot, Jane?

jane Says:

What the heck is that DA? Queen’s Club? :)

the DA Says:

@jane – yes, his wry sense of humor & play on words.

jane Says:

Does Queens start next week – wow it’s so fast hey? Andy should be raring to go since he’s been practising on the grass now for a little while.

the DA Says:

Yes, it starts on the 10th. Raring to go would be good but from I’ve garnered from journo/twitter spies, he’s only had some brief practices (45 mins or so). Unless he’s done it covertly ;)

jamie Says:

Time for Olderer to retire.

Daniel Says:

Skeezer, The DA,

I didn’t read the books either but read everybting will happen in Wiki Thrones. They have everything per character per book, you just needs to conncet the dots:)
I know everything will happen until end of 5th book and there is more killing in next episode that is gonna drop your jaw. The way the third book ends is more epic than the Red Wedding, but I thnk they left it for 4th season, there is just no time to develop in 1 final episode. Also Walder Frey wins best line of the series so far: “I’ll find another”

Hypnos Says:

I don’t like the way Federer loses sometimes — he just lays down. Maybe he doesn’t see much point in losing bravely.

Okiegal Says:


I have wanted to post that very same comment. Rafa will tell you straight up that Roger is the best ever, but by the same token, Roger will say that Rafa is the best clay courter ever…….hey, these guys have a mutual admiration society!!! I think it is great that these two champions can appreciate each other’s game so much. I was sorry to see Roger lose today. Was hoping to see him and Rafa in another final!! Vamos, Rafa and beat Stan!!! This Okie is pulling for you!!

Michael Says:

Roger is resigned to the fact that he cannot have that high level consistency as before. His form changes match after match. It is a good reading from Roger to give all credit to Tsonga for producing his best Tennis to dislodge him. I think with the kind of form Tsonga produced, he is going to be favourite in the Semis against Ferrer. However, the margin is negligible. It is Clay courts and Ferrer is an old warrior who has an affinity towards the red dirt surface. Ferrer is lucky not to meet Roger against whom he has a poor record. But now he must be eyeing his first Grand slam final which should be a stupendous achievement for him in his career. For Tsonga too, this match is very important and if he does reach the final that will do a world of difference to his career. Let us wait and see. But exciting matches are ahead and should be a treat for Tennis fans.

Michael Says:

To those people who are deriding Roger for his defeat, well we have to wait and see how Rafa performs at 31 ??

Margot Says:

Re your comment about the media, thought that was an especially nasty trait of the British tabloid press, really hope it’s not widespread :(
@ the DA
Yay! Have tickets :)
He’s been doing some rather tentative practising but after what happened last year, have no worries, providing back hold up…..literally!

skeezer Says:

“I don’t like the way Federer loses sometimes — he just lays down. Maybe he doesn’t see much point in losing bravely.”

Oh c’mon. losing Bravely? Fed has never quit, never retired, in like a 1000 matches. When he had a bad day, he could have just quit. Or retired. Or called the injury card. But he didn’t. He has always showed up for a match. His class act is unparalleled..

Brave? He never backed off a fight(knowing at times he probably should have), nor bowed out of a tournament cause “he didn’t have a chance of winning”. The Heroic thing about Fed is he always entered and gave it his best, despite the mono/back rumors the anti Feds bring up. He may have a bad day at the office, now more than ever, but his “Bravery” is modelistic.

Giles Says:

Jo read the script!

mat4 Says:

About Fed:

I had a strange relationship with Federer: in the beginning, I liked him a lot, but I thought he would never fulfil his potential. Then, when he proved me wrong, I thought he was simply winning too much: there were no usual ups and downs, but only ups. Then, I really thought that there was something about the competition: one dimensional players, from the first to the last one — Roddick a serve and half a FH, Black a FH and half a serve, Hewitt lacked power, Safin had the power but not the perseverance, Haas was always injured, Coria just fell apart, hampered with an illness too… Finally, there was that one hand BH that I never liked: I was a fan of Connors, and a twohander is a prerequisite sine qua non for my favs.

But, since 2009 (more probably after that WB defeat), when I noticed that he had started to requestion himself, that he slowly started to find ways to improve his game, when he found the patience he lacked on court, yes, my feelings started to change again.

Remembering some interviews of greats of the past, I feel that Roger has the same problem they did. It is not a physical problem, it has nothing to do with his speed, or technique. It is the pressure that a mature player feels knowing that he has to remain himself, and that there perhaps won’t be new opportunities. He is not the conqueror any more, but a palace under assault. He has everything to lose. When I watched him yesterday against Tsonga, it was clear that it was not time, but the shadow of time passing that won that match, and influenced Roger deeply.

It is interesting that this slump started from the top, when he was ranked no 1. After bagelling Novak in Cincy and accomplishing all the conquests he could ever dream of, Roger started to fade. He started to defend, instead of conquer, because there was nothing else to conquer.

I really don’t think he is finished. He still plays well. He doesn’t have to change his ways, but to find not the motivation, but a new, unaccomplished goal, that would make him feel a conqueror again.

I can’t conceive that Haas can play some of his best tennis at 35, and Roger can’t at 32.

mat4 Says:

About Tsonga’s game plan:

Eureka! We have to see what Nadal does against Federer to do the same. We could watch Djokovic against Nadal, to beat Nadal…

Everybody with some sense would have done it. And in fact, most of players do it: Federer has certainly watched Djokovic play Nadal and analyzed it; Djokovic knows by heart how Nadal plays against Federer; Murray knows what Djokovic eats for breakfast.

But Tsonga… By his own admission, we know he seldom watched opponents, but waited for Winogradsky to do it for him, and to tell him how to play. It was time to wake up.

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Great win for JWT,i couldnt believe it,i thought it would at least have been a close match,so i was shocked Joe did it straight sets,im sure Roger will bounce back and have a great run at Wimbledon though,at least one,and could be two none GS winners contesting the final,how amazing would that be?i love JWT but i also love Daveed so the sentimental part of me would really love to see him in the final,although i think having JWT there would make for a better final been French and all,Tommy and Stan have had an amazing tournament too,but i wonder how much they would have left to beat Nole and Rafa respectively over 5 sets IMO a difficult ask,however we will see,either Joe or Daveed will be the 1st player to the final anyway,that much we do all know.

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Jamie says olderer should retire,message to Jamie Federer has no intention of retiring any time soon,he eats,drinks,sleeps and breathes tennis,long story short he loves the game,the challenge,win or loose,the lifestyle etc,he repeatedly says in interviews its the most boring question he ever gets asked,sorry to dissapoint you but Roger aint going anywhere anytime soon,im quite surprised that your computer keyboard even works with the amount of drooling you do over Novak,or every loss of Roger or Rafa,sorry to dissapoint you but there is alot more to tennis than any one particular player,i suggest that you broaden your tennis horizons a bit more.

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Off topic Andy Murray will be playing at Queens Club next week,it will be great to have him back playing,hope he can win at Queens and take that run into Wimbledon for an asault on the home GS,so looking forward to it,i wonder if Delpo will be fit for Queens and Wimbledon too,lets hope so,does anybody know?

Okiegal Says:

@hippy chic

I made that same post on another thread. I hope he plays as long as he wants to. I don’t think his losses bother him as much as it does his fans. Kudos to Roger, play on young man!! 31 is only a number!!

In the mean, come on Rafa, let’s get the “W” and get off the court. Vamos!!!!!!!!!!

Okiegal Says:

oops…..in the MEAN TIME

Okiegal Says:

Why would you put the #1 player of the world on Suzanne instead of the main stadium? Was it because they put Rafa on SL court earlier in the week? Just wondering. The French kissers are hard to figure out> LOL

Jokin' Joe Says:

Let’s face it Fed is brilliant, and has had a brilliant career, but he’s in the sunset years. Same with Tommy Haas. We’ll still get some great tennis out of our older players but as the young crop comes up, and matures you’re going to see the older players fall. I felt sad to see Roger go down, and apparently so easily, but damn, there has been some great tennis this past week. I don’t ever see Tsonga becoming the dominant force in Tennis. Not in the era of Novak and Rafa, but he’ll turn in some respectable play, make some money, and at least for this year, “Viva la France!”

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