Roger Federer hung on in Halle to deny rival Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-5 to advance to the quarterfinals. Tsonga got a break to take the second then had chances in the third but was unable to capitalize.
“I had a bit of everything, happiness, sadness, frustration,” Federer said. “At the end I got very close and maybe also a little lucky. You have to be. Because at 5-all in the third on grass, on a court like this, against Jo Willy, you’re not really controlling things anymore. It was close but the crowd was fantastic. Obviously it was a great emotion at the end, which was nice.”
Federer then broke Tsonga at 5-all and then served it out taking it on his 18th ace of the match.
“Jo was able to pick up his game and do better especially on the return,” Federer added. “I thought it was tough but for me, the key was clearly to stay positive because I wasn’t down in the score, it was just only even at one-set all, and I fought as much as I could and tried to stay with him because he really was able to pick up his game.
“I always knew it was going to be tight because he has got a great first serve. He’s got all the chances to hit great forehands. He remains dangerous throughout, and I knew obviously once I gave away that lead things will get very, very tight and they did. It was a great match, great atmosphere. I really enjoyed it.”
Federer, who is seeking a 10th Halle title this week, moves on to meet Roberto Bautista Agut.
Roberto wins his points differently than Jo does. Jo does it with the serve and forehand and the power and the variety and his explosiveness, whereas Roberto does it through just doing the same thing in repetition, and he’s also got a great forehand like Jo has,” Federer said.
“From my side, I might have more play from the baseline, but then again we might be in more rallies on my serve, too. I’m looking forward to it. I have a good head-to-head against him and I’ve beaten him at Wimbledon once on the grass before. I hope that’s going to give me some confidence.”
Alexander Zverev was also a winner over Steve Johnson and Matteo Berrettini finally dropped serve but upended Andreas Seppi to keep his win streak going.
FRIDAY HALLE SCHEDULE
Stadion 12:00 Noon
Matteo Berrettini v 3 Karen Khachanov
Not Before 1:30 Pm
David Goffin v 2 Alexander Zverev
4 Borna Coric v Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Not Before 5:30 Pm
1 Roger Federer v 7 Roberto Bautista Agut
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