Tsonga downs Federer, will face Murray in Rogers Cup semifinals

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MONTREAL - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pulled out a stunning victory over world No. 1 Roger Federer on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the US$3-million Rogers Cup.
Down 5-1 in the third set, Tsonga used two service breaks to take the lead and then beat the Swiss ace in the tiebreaker for a 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (3) quarter-final victory.
"I did not feel real good - 5-1 down and Roger playing well and I had no solutions," said the seventh-seeded Tsonga, who played through a sore right arm. "I just told myself 'you have to hit the ball one more time than him' and I did it.
"It's a good thing for me. It's amazing to change this match."
In an evening match, fifth-seeded Andy Roddick recovered from a second-set service break to advance with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory over fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic. It was Roddick's third win this year over the Serb. He is 4-for-4 in the tournament in tiebreakers and leads the ATP Tour with 33 tiebreaker wins.
"I've played seven of the last nine days, including last week (in Washington), so when you get to those crucial points, you've got to win them," Roddick said
Roddick is looking to reach a third straight final, after losing to Federer in a five-set thriller at Wimbledon and dropping the final in Washington to Juan Martin Del Potro.
He will face the winner of a match late Friday between defending champion Rafael Nadal and Del Potro.
Federer looked to be coasting to the victory when his serve deserted him just as Tsonga seemed to rediscover his own, and the sellout crowd of 11,490 at centre court was on the edge of its seats as France's top player battled back for the unlikely victory.
"It's obviously disappointing but you know, that's what Jo does - he doesn't make a return for an hour and then he puts in a few and than all of a sudden he's back in the match," said Federer. "I should never have allowed it but it happened, so it's a pity."
Federer forced a final tiebreaker, but Tsonga used two aces to take the lead and then saw the top seed double-fault on match point.
"It's a tough match to go through because it was either very close or very one-sided," Federer said. "That doesn't make it easy on the rhythm, obviously."
Federer saw his 21-match winning streak ended, which included tournament wins at Madrid, the French Open and Wimbledon, where he claimed a record 15th career grand slam title.
He took a break after Wimbledon while his wife gave birth to twin girls and there were doubts about his form coming into the Rogers Cup. The 28-year-old Swiss looked sharp until the end of the third set, when his game went to pieces.
But overall, he wasn't displeased with the three matches he got in at the Rogers Cup.
"It's great to get some matches in ahead of Cincinnati (next week) and the U.S. Open," he said. "But my goal wasn't to just to play matches and do press conferences.
"The whole trip here was to do well and try to win the tournament."
A year ago in Toronto, Federer came in after a post-Wimbledon break and was beaten in the first round by Frenchman Gilles Simon. He won the tournament in 2004 and 2006 and lost in the final in 2007.
Tsonga advanced to a semifinal on Saturday against third-seeded Andy Murray. The Frenchman leads their career series 2-1.
Murray ended Nikolay Davydenko's 12-match winning run with a 6-2, 6-4 victory. Davydenko, seeded eighth, came into the tournament following wins at Hamburg and Umag.
"It will be difficult because Andy is one of the best players this last month," said Tsonga. "I know I have to play my game, stay on the offensive and see what happens.
"I know I have a chance and I will take it."
Third-seeded Murray saw his string of service games won end at 19 when Davydenko broke him in the fifth game of the first set, but he has still yet to drop a set in the tournament.
In doubles play, fears that an elbow injury would prevent Daniel Nestor of Toronto from trying to repeat as champion were allayed as he and partner Nenad Zimonjic downed Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman 6-2, 6-4 in the quarter-finals. They next face Nestor's former partner Mark Knowles and Mahesh Bhupathi.

Organizations: ATP Tour, French Open, U.S. Open

Geographic location: Wimbledon, MONTREAL, US Washington France Toronto Madrid Cincinnati Hamburg

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