Federer sets up US Open semi rematch with Djokovic
Published 09/09/2011 | 09:06
Roger Federer avenged his Wimbledon defeat with a 6-4 6-3 6-3 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to set up a semi-final rematch with Novak Djokovic at the US Open.
Frenchman Tsonga had come from two sets down to beat Federer in the last eight at the All England Club, the only player to manage such a feat at a grand slam, but in truth a repeat never looked on the cards in the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
A rain interruption, the first of the day, briefly held up the third seed's charge but he did not allow Tsonga to take charge in the match and in the end it was a comfortable victory.
The players came out as scheduled but after only five games the rain returned to Flushing Meadows. It looked like they may have to come back tomorrow but eventually the sky cleared and the court was dried.
There had been enough time for Federer to break the Tsonga serve but he promptly gave away his advantage on the resumption. However, the 11th seed was broken again for 5-4 when he netted a volley and that was enough for Federer to take the first set.
Tsonga had also beaten the 16-time grand slam champion in their most recent meeting in Montreal last month but Federer was relentless in his attacking, not allowing his opponent to get into a rhythm on his huge groundstrokes.
In the second set the Swiss moved two breaks ahead but Tsonga responded by retrieving one immediately and at last he was pushing Federer. The 30-year-old stood firm, though, and another break gave him the set.
He would still have been wary, of course, given his Wimbledon experience, and Tsonga forced a break point in the fifth game of the third set - but he could not take it.
Federer was serving superbly, much to the frustration of his opponent, and once again it was Tsonga was cracked in the eighth game.
Three huge forehands took Federer to 15-40 but twice he missed his chance and on a third break point the Frenchman came up with an ace. But he followed up with a simple volley into the net and a double fault sealed his fate.
Federer's victory means he will play Djokovic in the last four for the second year in a row, with the Serb saving match points to triumph 12 months ago before losing in the final to Rafael Nadal.