• Wawrinka books semis match against Tsonga

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    PARIS: Stan Wawrinka knocked Roger Federer out of the French Open quarterfinals on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) to set up a last-four clash with home hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

    Wawrinka, the eighth seed, beat his more illustrious Swiss compatriot Federer in three sets 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).

    Fourteenth seed Tsonga, meanwhile, was taken to five sets by Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori before prevailing 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3.

    Federer, the second seed and 2009 champion at Roland Garros, had only ever lost twice in 18 previous meetings with Wawrinka but was well beaten on a windy Court Suzanne Lenglen.

    The 17-time Grand Slam champion proved incapable of breaking his opponent’s serve at all over the course of a match that lasted two hours and nine minutes.

    Remarkably, it was just the third time in his career he had failed to break an opponent’s serve in a Grand Slam match—the last came against Max Mirnyi at the 2002 US Open when he was just 21 and had not yet won a major.

    It is a further sign of the decline of the 33-year-old, who was also beaten in the third round of the Australian Open earlier this year by Italy’s Andreas Seppi.

    Federer’s last Grand Slam title was almost three years ago when he captured his seventh Wimbledon crown in 2012.

    Wawrinka broke decisively in the first set and then twice more in the second. There were no breaks in a tighter third set, but Wawrinka won it on his second match point in the tiebreak.

    “We know Stan can do this and it’s nice for him and important for him to string it together and do well. I thought he played really great tennis today,” said a diplomatic Federer, who admitted his opponent handled the blustery conditions far better.

    “It was tough so it’s all the more impressive the way Stan was able to play.”

    Wawrinka was the junior champion at Roland Garros in 2003 but is now through to the semi-finals of the main draw for the first time.

    “Today was my best match on clay and it’s an incredible moment for me. The conditions were difficult with a lot of wind but I believed in my game and it was a really incredible match from me,” he said.

    The 2014 Australian Open champion’s run in Paris comes after he beat Rafael Nadal in Rome recently before losing to Federer in the semi-finals.

    “I’m playing good tennis and I’m really pleased to be in the Paris semifinals for the first time,” he added.

    AFP

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