Federer Beats Tsonga In Another Grass-Court Thriller
Roger Federer held off some of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s best hitting to reach his 17thNOVENTI OPEN quarter-final on Thursday and keep alive his hopes for a record-extending 10th title in Halle.
Federer advanced past Tsonga 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-5 in another high-octane contest between the two veterans who both hit their full strides at times inside Gerry Weber Stadion. Federer now leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 12-6.
Tsonga had beaten Federer during their only prior grass-court meeting, coming back from two sets down in the 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finals. But the Swiss started well and looked to be en route to another straight-sets win in Germany after he converted his third set point in the opener and broke to start the second.
The top seed ran around a Tsonga second serve and belted an inside-in forehand winner down the line to gain the set and break lead. He was at his aggressive best all match, coming forward often and ending the point with swinging volleys. Federer won 16 of his 27 trips to the net (59%).
But Tsonga found his characteristic big groundstrokes in time to break in the sixth and 10th games of the second set, punishing forehands that Federer couldn’t handle at net. The two were on serve until the 11th game of the deciding set, when Federer, as the fans screamed for the nine-time champion, raised his level to break once more. He ended their 18th contest with his seventh ace.
The Swiss will next meet Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist (2007, 2015) Richard Gasquet of France 6-1, 6-4. Federer is 8-0 against Bautista Agut, which includes a straight-sets win at 2015 Wimbledon, their only grass-court encounter. Bautista Agut has won only one of their 19 sets.
Did You Know?
Only 23 men in 20 years have beaten Federer on grass and only two have done so from two sets down at Wimbledon (2-78). Tsonga belongs to both of those clubs.