PARIS: Roger Federer will on Tuesday attempt to claim another record and at the same time shatter French hopes of ending a 30-year wait for a men’s singles champion at Roland Garros.
Federer, the champion in 2009, will be playing in a 36th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals and victory will give him a 59th career win at the French Open.
That would take him past the previous best mark of 58 shared by Guillermo Vilas and Nicola Pietrangeli.
A win for the 17-time Grand Slam title winner against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga would mean the wait for a home men’s champion, 30 years after Yannick Noah triumphed in Paris, goes on.
Tsonga lost the pair’s only meeting on clay, in Rome in 2011 in straight sets although he did famously beat Federer in the Wimbledon quarterfinals later that year.
“I’m looking forward to the match against Jo Willy. It’s a big challenge playing him here in Paris. He’s a great friend of mine. I think we’re both looking forward to this match,” said Federer.
Tsonga has a point to prove to the crowd as well as to himself.
Twelve months ago at the same stage, he squandered four match points against Novak Djokovic.
“Until the end of my days I will have it in my mind,” he said.
The winner of the match will take on either fourth seed David Ferrer or Tommy Robredo who face-off in an all-Spanish battle.
Ferrer was a semi-finalist in 2012 while Robredo, who was down at 471 in the rankings this time last year, has already been creating records in Paris.
He is the first man since Henri Cochet at Wimbledon in 1927 to win three successive matches by coming back from two sets to love.
In the women’s quarterfinals, top seed Serena Williams, the 2002 champion, faces 2009 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Williams is on a 28-match winning streak and has reached the last eight for the loss of just 10 games.
Waiting in the semi-finals will be either Agnieszka Radwanska, the Polish fourth seed, or Italian fifth seed Sara Errani, the runner-up to Maria Sharapova last year.