Fresh from dispatching Novak Djokovic in straight sets, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga eliminated another of tennis’ top echelon by beating Andy Murray on Friday to reach the Rogers Cup semifinals.
Tsonga beat eighth-seeded Andy Murray 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 while Roger Federer was extended to three sets in defeating David Ferrer.
Tsonga said he did not have much confidence entering the tournament, but wins over Djokovic and Murray had him primed for the U.S. Open later this month.
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“I try to be consistent in my work, and I’m sure it will give me some rewards,” Tsonga said. “This week is kind of rewards for me, to play like this, to beat two guys in the top 10. It’s good, and I hope it will continue.”
Tsonga will take on seventh-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, who edged Kevin Anderson 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (6).
Murray reached the quarterfinals by walkover when Richard Gasquet withdrew.
“It was a high-level match with a few games by both of us in the second and third sets that were a bit scrappy,” Murray said.
Federer celebrates birthday with win
Roger Federer celebrated his 33rd birthday with a 6-3 4-6 6-3 win over Spaniard David Ferrer on Friday to move into the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup and a step closer to a landmark 80th career title.
Federer will next face another Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez, who ended the last hope for a homegrown winner in sixth seed Milos Raonic 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3.
The other semi-final will see rising star Grigor Dimitrov take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who has reached the last four by knocking off world number one Novak Djokovic and twice-champion and eighth seed Andy Murray in Friday’s quarter-final.
With Ferrer 14-0 against the Swiss maestro there was little concern the fifth seed might spoil the party as the capacity crowd serenaded 17-time grand slam winner Federer with a chorus of “Happy Birthday” between games during the second set.
But there would be no gifts from Ferrer, who made Federer work a little longer and little harder than he wanted.
“It’s a dream come true to still be playing tennis at this age,” Federer told the cheering crowd. “I love tennis but it is a whole lot more fun when you do win and play against guys like David who leave it all out there.
“Stay injury free and go out on my terms, maybe try and win tournaments, I have two this year and hopefully we will have a few more.
“It starts here tomorrow again on the court.”
His next opponent Lopez excels on grass and reached the final at Queen’s before clinching his fourth career title at Eastbourne a week later, but he has looked at home on the Canadian hardcourts.
After knocking off fourth seed Tomas Berdych in the third round he will now have to record another big upset in Federer if he is to reach his first ATP Tour Masters 1000 final.
Lopez’s victory deflated the capacity crowd and was a crushing loss for Raonic, who came into his home tournament with huge expectations, sitting a career high number six in the world and riding the momentum from a win last Sunday in Washington.
Raonic blasted 18 aces past Lopez but in the end the big-hitting Canadian said it was a lack of courage, not muscle, that cost him the win.
“He (Lopez) stepped up and played well on the important moments, especially on his service game,” said Raonic. “I just need to show in a few situations more courage and go for a little bit more.
“Not just that third set but all throughout the match. I just felt like I never let it go through or impose myself, and I think that’s what cost me over time.”