‘Un­beat­able’ Fed­erer cleans up tired Tsonga

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - JU­LIAN LIN­DEN

STUNNED French­man JoWil­fried Tsonga had bad news for Andy Mur­ray yes­ter­day – no one can beat Roger Fed­erer.

The 10th seed was blown off court by the world num­ber one 6-2 6-3 6-2 in just one hour 28 min­utes in their Aus­tralian Open semi-fi­nal with the Swiss great now fac­ing Scot­land’s Mur­ray for his 16th Grand Slam ti­tle.

Tsonga said the form Fed­erer was in, he was un­beat­able.

“I think no­body,” he said, when asked if any player could get the bet­ter of him. “He was good, he was good. He took the ball ear­lier than me, and he was just bet­ter than me.

“Some­times you play the guy and the guy plays well, but not so good. And some­times you play against him again and he plays just un­be­liev­able.

“Each day is dif­fer­ent, but to­day he was re­ally good.”

His ad­vice to Mur­ray in to­mor­row’s fi­nal? “Be ready to run.”

Be­fore this tour na­ment Tsonga had never played a com­pet­i­tive five-set­ter in his life, but here he played two, in­clud­ing his epic quar­ter-fi­nal win over No­vak Djokovic, and it caught up with him against Fed­erer.

Tsonga, who lost the 2008 fi­nal to Djokovic, ad­mit­ted he was tired, but was happy with what he had achieved.

“Yeah, of course, I was tired, be­cause of my tour na­ment, that’s it,” he said. “I learned maybe I have to play bet­ter.

“I had a good tour­na­ment, I beat some good play­ers. I played two five-set matches which was the first time for me.

“So it’s more ex­pe­ri­ence for me. I think it’s good for me, even if I lost in the semi. Next time I will try to do bet­ter.”

Mur­ray has been the form player over the past fort­night but Fed­erer’s im­pe­ri­ous dis­play will give the Scots­man a cou­ple of sleep­less nights.

“I know he’d like to win the first for Bri­tish ten­nis in... what is it ... like 150,000 years?” Fed­erer joked in a court­side in­ter­view.

A victory over Mur­ray will pro­vide the 28-year-old with his 16th grand slam, ex­tend­ing yet an­other record he holds.

Fed­erer, grow­ing in con­fi­dence with ev­ery match af­ter a slow start, showed no mercy against a weary Tsonga.

“He did well in those five set matches and I ex­pected him to come out here and be re­ally ath­letic the way we know him.” “Maybe he was men­tally more fa­tigued than phys­i­cally.”

Fed­erer shows no sign of slow­ing down de­spite his haul of ma­jor tro­phies. He broke Tsonga’s er­ratic serve once to win the open­ing set then twice more in each of the next two while com­fort­ably hold­ing each of his ser­vice games.

Tsonga, who reached the Aus­tralian Open fi­nal two years ago but has yet to win a grand slam, did not get a sin­gle break point on the Swiss mas­ter’s serve. – Sapa-AFP and Reuters

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