Tsonga said Federer remained formidable.

September 09, 2011 15:03
Tsonga said Federer remained formidable.

sportsNew York: Roger Federer avenged his surprise loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at this year's Wimbledon by beating the Frenchman 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the US Open and give himself a chance of a sixth title at Flushing Meadows, in a match delayed about one-and-a-half hours by rain in the first set.

Playing his first Grand Slam tournament as a 30-year-old, the five-time US Open champion was lethal with his serve, whipped angled winners with swashbuckling aplomb and was razor-sharp at the net.

World number one Djokovic, the Australian and Wimbledon champion, reached the semis when his Serbian Davis Cup teammate Janko Tipsarevic retired with a leg injury while trailing 7-6, 6-7, 6-0, 3-0.

Five-time winner Federer has lost just one set at Flushing Meadows on his way to the semis."I played great," said Federer, who boomed in 72 percent of his first serves in Thursday's closing match at Arthur Ashe Stadium. "For me it continues, and that is awesome."

"I'm very happy with the way I'm playing, the way I'm moving and I'm enjoying myself on the court."Tsonga was coming off a five-set victory in which he came back after trailing two sets to one against American Mardy Fish, and was not at his sharpest.

"I didn't play really well. I didn't move well," said Tsonga, 26. "I didn't serve well enough (53 percent of first serves), my energy level was down."

Federer, who has won a record 16 Grand Slam singles crowns, is hoping to preserve his streak of at least one Grand Slam title every year since capturing his first at 2003 Wimbledon.

He lost to Djokovic in the semi-finals at the Australian Open, was runner-up to Rafa Nadal at the French Open and fell to Tsonga at Wimbledon.

At Wimbledon in late June, Tsonga upset 16-time Major champion Federer in the quarter-finals after dropping the first two sets. Until that loss, Federer was unbeaten in 178 matches when taking a two-set lead in a Grand Slam match.

However, Federer did not let Tsonga get back into Thursday's re-match, saving a key break point at 2-2 in the third set, then breaking in the next-to-last game when Tsonga double-faulted.

"It's true, the Wimbledon match does come back into your mind, especially when he's got break point in the third, and you're wondering if it will be like Wimbledon," Federer said. "But I was able to come out of that one."

Tsonga said Federer remained formidable.

"Every time when he lost, people said 'Roger, he is finished.' But for me, he's still the same player. He is very good."

"When the confidence is here for him, it's (hard) for everybody to play against him."Djokovic carries a remarkable 62-2 season record into the semi-finals clash.

Federer said he looked forward to their fourth successive reunion in the US Open semi-finals.Djokovic won last year, with Federer taking their previous two showdowns at Flushing Meadows.

However, the Swiss ended Djokovic's 43-match winning streak by beating him in a thrilling French Open semi-final earlier this year."I don't know how much Paris is going to help me or help him. It was just one of those great matches of the year. It was special in the moment itself. I hope it's something similar," Federer said, looking ahead.

"I think when we do play against each other it's always exciting. We have great rallies against each other.""He's been having an amazing season so far, so it's a challenge right now in the men's game. That's what I like."

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