Federer reached the final after beating Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4, a straight sets victory reminiscent of his hey day. In the other semi-final, Tsonga had to fight a little harder to overcome USA’s John Isner 3-6, 7-6, 7-6.
Roger Federer who has just been through his first season since 2002, without a Grand Slam win to show for it dropped just 10 points on serve, against Berdych. The world number four appeared happy with his performance and said, “I’m more consistent now. I’m able to play several matches in a row, which I had a problem with before. This is the first time I’ve played several matches and I was able to prove myself.”
Berdych who outclassed Britain’s Andy Murray in the quarter-finals had no answer to the sheer array of shots Federer displayed on court, and felt that Federer was back to his Grand slam winning form: “I’m confident that’s the old Roger, you know, the years that he was really winning everything.”
Isner began his semi-final against Tsonga on a winning note by taking the first set by holding serve, after breaking the Frenchman’s serve in the 6th game. Tsonga who won the title here in Bercy in 2008 fought back in the second set which went to a tie breaker after Isner had to stave off three break points. The Frenchman who had the backing of a 14,500- strong home crowd too the second set tie breaker 7-1 to push the match into a third set.
Leading 40-0 on Isner’s serve, at 4-4, in the deciding set, Tsonga lost concentration, and allowed the American to recover to hold the game. The set went into a tie-breaker, and this time, Tsonga made no mistake and closed it out at 7-3, to set up his clash with Federer.
Head to head, fourth ranked Federer has established a 5-3 advantage over eighth ranked Tsonga, in 8 games played between the men. The last time these men met on a tennis court was in the US Open quarter-finals where Federer won in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, thereby avenging his quarter-finals loss to the Frenchman, at Wimbledon, where Tsonga came back from 2 sets to love down to beat the Swiss ace, in a marathon five-setter. Tsonga also beat Federer in the Rogers Cup at Montreal, in August.
The final between Federer and Tsonga promises to be a thriller between a Swiss legend who is determined to prove he is still capable of beating the best and an up and coming French player who is trying to establish himself as the player of the future.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.