Roger Federer advanced to the Rogers Cup final Saturday night, beating Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4 to set up a match against upset-happy Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The second-ranked Federer is seeking his third titles of the year. He has 79 career titles and is a 17-time Grand Slam champion.
” I think I served well, I was aggressive and I was able to really play the way I wanted to play tonight,” said Federer, forced to three sets in his previous two matches. ” I’m very happy.”
Tsonga beat his third straight higher-seeded opponent, topping seventh-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-3. The 13th-seeded Frenchman beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic on Thursday and eighth-seeded Andy Murray on Friday.
” I’m more consistent and it’s good because it (helped) me beat three guys in the top 10,” Tsonga said. “I didn’t do that (for a) couple of years now and it gives me hope for the rest of the year.”
Federer is 2-4 in finals this season, winning at Dubai and Halle. Tsonga, a 10-time winner, lost in his only previous final this season, falling to Ernests Gulbis in Marseille in February. Tsonga is 4-11 against Federer.
” When you play against Roger, it’s always special,” Tsonga said. ” First, because you play in a big area, in a big stadium anyway. And every time the crowd is for him, so it’s quite a good sensation. It’s quite a good feeling when you win against 10,000 people.”
It will be Tsonga’s first appearance in a Masters 1000 final since he lost to Federer three years ago at the BNP Paribas Masters. Tsonga’s only Masters 1000 title came in Paris in 2008.
” I just think he can overpower guys,” Federer said about Tsonga. ” Serve up a storm and then play really aggressive with his forehand and also be solid on his backhand. You think you’re in a safe place sometimes in the rally and he takes one step and just hits it and the point is over.”