Posted On Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 08:23:53 AM
Roger Federer survived a searching examination from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga yesterday to win a gripping five-setter and set up an Australian Open semi-final against Andy Murray.
The Swiss world No.2 was pushed all the way and needed five match points before dousing seventh-seeded Tsonga to win 7-6 (7/4) 4-6 7-6 (7/4) 3-6 6-3 in 3hours 34minutes at the Rod Laver Arena.
His victory has set up a rematch of last year’s Wimbledon final with third seed Murray, whom he faces tomorrow. World No.1 Novak Djokovic will play Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer in the other semi-final today.
Federer handled the tension of the deciding set and got a crucial break in the fourth game to take control, but was forced to five match points before he could put Tsonga away to improve his five-set record to 21-16.
Federer said, “It’s tough because you never know what Jo is going to come up with. I hit three great serves there in the fifth set and every time he got them back, and that’s what he can do and that’s why he remains dangerous throughout a match.”
Federer has now reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open for the 10th straight year and is bidding to become only the second man to win five Australian titles behind Roy Emerson, who won six in the 1960s.
Murray on cruise control
Murray beat Jeremy Chardy 6-4 6-1 6-2 to reach the semis without dropping a set and is hoping to play well against the Swiss. “I can’t be disappointed about being in the semis without dropping a set. I hope to play better in the next round ,“ he said.
Serena out, Azarenka wins
In the women’s draw, 15-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams was shocked by teenager Sloane Stephens, who registered a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 win. Williams blamed the defeat on the ankle injury she sustained in her opening match.
“Ive had a tough two weeks between the ankle ... and my back, which started hurting,“ Williams said.
In the other quarter match, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus ran through Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5 6-1 to set up a semi-final clash with Stephens. Tournament favourite Maria Sharapova takes on China’s Li Na in the other semi-final today.
Rohan Bopanna and Su-Wei Hsieh lost their mixed doubles quarter-final match against Czech-Polish pairing of Kveta Peschke and Marcin Matkowski, 2-6 3-6.