Tsonga delivers the knockout blow to Federer

Tennis French Open: Battling Serena moves into semifinals

Tsonga delivers the knockout blow to Federer

There will be no Roger Federer in the semifinals of the French Open for only the second time in nine years after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga produced a rip-roaring performance to beat the Swiss 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Twelve months after blowing four match points at the same stage against Novak Djokovic, Tsonga made sure he had a much easier ride as he sparked wild jubilations on Chatrier Court by downing a player who is used to being a fan favourite no matter where he plays.

A backhand long from Federer on match point handed Tsonga a place in the last four at Roland Garros for the first time as Federer made a quick exit from the arena where he had held aloft the Musketeers' Cup in 2009.

Tsonga will next face fourth seed David Ferrer as comeback king Tommy Robredo lost an all-Spanish quarterfinal against ruthless Ferrer 6-2, 6-1, 6-1.

The 31-year-old had recovered two-set deficits in all three of his previous rounds at Roland Garros but Ferrer was rock solid as he thrashed his countryman in one hour 25 minutes.

Earlier, Serena Williams came back from the brink and extended her winning streak to 29 matches, beating Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals to continue her run towards a second title.

The World No 1, who won her only Roland Garros title in 2002, saw off three double break points in the decider and played some beautiful tennis to set up a semifinal meeting with fifth seed Sara Errani.

The Italian beat fourth-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).
After strolling through her first four rounds and the opening set, 15-time Grand Slam champion Williams came up against a streak of forehand winners from Kuznetsova, the 2009 French Open winner.

The American fell 2-0 behind in the third before winning five games in a row, wrapping up victory with a forehand volley after nearly two hours of a see-saw contest.

Kuznetsova huffed and puffed and looked in agony while Serena whizzed into a one-set lead in less than half an hour.

The Russian, unseeded in Paris for the first time since 2003, talked to herself and looked up to the sky. She took a break to be treated off court by the trainer and everything changed.

The string of forehand unforced errors suddenly turned in to a series of forehand winners that more than once left Williams helpless.

Sania, Bethanie pull out

Indian challengers continued to exit as Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands were forced to retire from their pre-quarterfinals following a groin problem to the latter.

Sania and Bethanie  had annexed the first set but the American encountered a groin issue in the second set and eventually they pulled out with score reading 7-6 (7-0), 3-5 against Anastasia Pavlyuch-enkova and Lucie Safarova.

Paes and Jelena Jankovic fought hard before their mixed doubles second round 5-7, 7-6 (7-1), 2-10 against eighth seeded team of American Liezel Huber and Brazilian Marcelo Melo. Paes and Jankovic lost in one hour and 30 minutes.

Results (prefix denotes seeding, quarterfinals): Men’s singles: 6-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) bt 2-Roger Federer (Sui) 7-5, 6-3, 6-3; 4-David Ferrer (Esp) bt 32-Tommy Robredo (Esp) 6-2, 6-1, 6-1. Women’s singles: 1-Serena Williams bt Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3; 5-Sara Errani bt 4-Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).

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