Tsonga eyes Federer test after quarter-final romp
Doha: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga set up a potential semi-final against Roger Federer after an untroubled 6-2 6-1 win over Spanish left-hander Albert Ramos in the Qatar Open on Thursday.
World number three Federer is seeking a 20th straight victory in his quarter-final against Andreas Seppi.
"It`s difficult to play against him (Federer)," the Frenchman said in a court-side interview. "I have to be perfect and play my best tennis but I know I can do it."
Tsonga started strongly against Ramos, breaking the 23-year-old in the opening game.
Ramos hugged the baseline, but Tsonga tempted him to the net with a sliced dropshot the Spaniard could not counter, giving the Frenchman a break chance.
Ramos saved this and another as Tsonga shanked a backhand passing shot into the net, but the world number six broke at the third attempt following a Ramos error.
Tsonga then held to serve to love in his first two service games, taking a 3-1 lead.
Following his second-round win on Wednesday, Tsonga said he was trying to come to the net more. However, this tactic was in little evidence in the opening stages of Thursday`s encounter and his first notable foray forward ending in failure as he scuffed his shot into the net.
Ramos, ranked a career-high 66th in the world, seemed to overcome his early service loss, but Tsonga then upped the tempo, hitting a series of bruising ground strokes the Spaniard could only parry as Tsonga eventually put away a forehand winner deep to the right of his opponent and for another break point.
The Spaniard then came to the net, hitting a short stop volley which a groaning Tsonga dispatched cross court for a second break and a 5-2 lead.
Tsonga surged 40-0 ahead for three set points. He blew the first, racing to the net to hit a forehand volley that went long, but won it at the second attempt with a blistering serve Ramos could not return.
With the first set in the bag, Tsonga was more expansive, advancing to the net to hit a range of backhand, forehand and smash winners.
Under pressure Ramos made further mistakes. A long backhand put him a break point down, an error he compounded when he missed an easy put-away at the net to give Tsonga the game and a 2-1 lead in the second set.
Tsonga survived a scare in the next game, saving three break points and then wrapped up the game swiftly as Ramos faded.
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