Federer demolishes Tsonga to reach US Open semifinals

New York: Five-time champion Roger Federer demolished Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday to reach the US Open semifinals and gain revenge for his landmark Wimbledon loss to the Frenchman.

Third seed Federer will tackle top seed and world number one Novak Djokovic for a place in the final after overcoming a 90-minute rain interruption and curtailing the powerful but wayward shot-making of Tsonga.

It will be the fourth successive US Open semifinal meeting between Federer and Djokovic and first since the Swiss ended the Serb`s 43-match winning run at the French Open in June.

"I don`t know if what happened in Paris will help him or me. It was a great match and a special win. It was one of the matches of the year," said Federer.

"It`s the biggest challenge in the sport to face him but I`m up for it and I`m playing well."

At the Wimbledon quarterfinals, Tsonga had become the first man to beat Federer from two sets to love down, a streak of 178 matches for the Swiss star.

He followed up that win with a fourth round win in Montreal.

But Federer, despite one or two hiccups, reached his eighth straight US Open semifinal in comfort against the 11th seeded Tsonga who had needed five sets to see off Mardy Fish in the last round.

He was 3-2 ahead when light rain and a treacherous surface on Arthur Ashe Stadium sent the players off court.

On their return, the Swiss immediately surrendered a break as the 26-year-old Tsonga, playing in his first US Open quarterfinal, levelled for 3-3.

But Federer hit back at 5-4 and took the opener with an ace.

He was two breaks to the good at 4-1 in the second set before the dogged Tsonga clawed one back.

The French player`s tendency to overhit, however, proved expensive in the ninth game when a succession of wild forehands handed Federer another break and the second set.

Tsonga saved three break points in the eighth game in the decider -- the third courtesy of a 139mph ace -- but double-faulted on the fourth to hand Federer a 5-3 lead.

He saved a match point in the next game but went long with a forehand on the second as Federer clinched a well-deserved victory, seven minutes short of two hours on court.

Bureau Report

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