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Rediff.com  » Sports » Tsonga rallies to shock Federer

Tsonga rallies to shock Federer

Last updated on: June 29, 2011 21:01 IST

Roger Federer suffered his second straight Wimbledon quarter-final exit when an extraordinary comeback by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga condemned the Swiss to a shock 3-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 defeat on Wednesday.

The third seed's defeat was the first time he has lost a Grand Slam match having been two sets up.

"It was just amazing today, I played unbelievable, everything was in," Tsonga said in a televised interview.

"That's crazy, he is the biggest champion in my sport, he achieved a lot of things. He is the best player in the world and I'm just so happy to beat him, especially on grass, as it is one of his best surfaces."

Jo-Wilfried TsongaFederer, who had been bidding for a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title, glided through the first set and never looked in danger in the second set or tiebreak as Tsonga made some sloppy, nervous errors.

However, the 12th seed soon found his groove with his immense energy and athleticism suddenly worrying Federer.

Tsonga broke for 2-1 in the third and fourth sets and held out thanks to some rasping groundstrokes and trademark volleys.

His raw power threatened to completely outmuscle the record 16-times Grand Slam champion, who failed to raise his game and slipped a break down at the start of the fifth set when he netted.

Federer could do nothing to halt Tsonga's momentum with the Frenchman laying into every stroke with all his might to reach a third Grand Slam semi-final and set up a meeting with Novak Djokovic on Friday.

Earlier, second seed Djokovic stopped Australian upstart Bernard Tomic to reach the semi-finals, winning 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 on Court One.

"I'm delighted to be through it's a great result but was a very even match," Djokovic said in a televised interview.

"I played very well to start with but I played one very bad service game and he got back into the match and from that moment on he was the better player.

"I had some very very difficult serve games which I managed to hold."

The Serbian second seed, bidding for his first Wimbledon title and the world number one ranking, cruised through the opening set.

Qualifier Tomic grew in confidence though and using his patient and delicate groundstrokes to frustrate the Serb, he took the second and opened up a 3-1 lead in the third.

Djokovic had struggled to deal with the low, slow sliced backhands of Tomic but was stunned into action and reeled off seven games in a row to take command.

Tomic, the youngest man to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals since Boris Becker in 1986, made a string of basic errors but out of the blue he hit back in the fourth set, whipping a ferocious forehand down the line to seal another break.

Djokovic fell heavily at 4-5 and struggled to hold his serve but an exquisite drop shot in the next game set up another break.

The 24-year-old Serb rediscovered his consistency and earned himself two match points in the next game, the first of which he converted when Tomic netted a groundstroke.

"He is a very unpredictable player and has never been in a Grand Slam quarter-final before and he had nothing to lose and was hitting a lot of winners and I couldn't predict where he was going," Djokovic said.

"He was not making many unforced errors from the baseline which made my life very difficult. I was trying to change the pace, but he was better at that and it was like a game of cat and mouse."

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