Tsonga eyes final after Federer scalp
Originally published on: 05/06/13 00:00
The world No.8 is the first Frenchman into the semi-finals of the French Open since Gael Monfils in 2008 and is bidding to become the first male champion in Paris since Yannick Noah in 1983.
Spurred on by his home crowd, Tsonga fought back from a break down early in the opening set to claim a 7-5 6-3 6-3 victory in an hour and 51 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier.
"For me, it's maybe one of my best victories," Tsonga said. "[But] the tournament is not finished, and I hope I will have some more. Sport is beautiful because you can always do something.
“Even if you play the best player in the world, you have a chance. Because the guy in front of you only has two legs, two arms, one head.”
Tsonga will meet David Ferrer in the semi-finals after the fourth seed eased past fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-2 6-1 6-1. Clay-court specialist Ferrer is into the last four for a second successive year and has reached the semi-finals without dropping a set.
Ferrer has won two of three career meetings between the pair, but Tsonga, who is also yet to drop a set in Paris, is confident he can reach his first Grand Slam final since the 2008 Australian Open.
“Everybody's been expecting a lot from me since the beginning of this tournament," he said. "Not only this tournament, but every day. So I'm used to it.
“Now what is important, is to stay focused, to think about my next match. Because it will be extremely tough against a player who didn't lose a single set and won with a very striking score in the quarter-finals. _ь_ь
"I feel I'm able to beat [Ferrer] because I believe I have the weapons for that. I have more endurance now. I'm more consistent. I hit harder than he does, and normally I serve a lot better than him."