WIMBLEDON, England (AP):
Six-time champion Roger Federer was upset in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second straight year, squandering a two-set lead for the first time at a Grand Slam tournament and losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 3-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 yesterday.
Federer barely looked challenged while winning the first two sets against the 12th-seeded Frenchman. But the Swiss star, who had been 178-0 in matches in which he had won the opening two sets at a major tournament, was broken one time in each of the last three sets.
"It's kind of hard going out of the tournament that way, but unfortunately, it does happen sometimes," said Federer, who was playing in his 29th straight major quarter-final. "At least it took him sort of a special performance to beat me, which is somewhat nice."
Federer may be right. The 16-time Grand Slam champion finished the match with only 11 unforced errors, half as many as Tsonga, but it didn't help him get close to breaking Tsonga's serve when he needed it.
"I was two sets down and I break. I did a good game of return and after that it was just amazing," said Tsonga, who had 63 winners, five more than Federer. "I just played unbelievable, served unbelievable and now I'm here, I'm in semi-final and I can't believe it."
Tsonga will face second-seeded Novak Djokovic, who defeated 18-year-old Australian qualifier Bernard Tomic 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Defending champion Rafael Nadal also advanced, beating Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. The two-time champion will face fourth-seeded Andy Murray, who defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Federer was seeking to equal Pete Sampras' record of seven Wimbledon singles titles. He breezed through his opening four matches, losing only one set, and played his usual elegant game against Tsonga.
In the first set, Federer earned his one and only break point of the match in Tsonga's first service game, and converted it. He held the rest of the way, and then won the second set in the tiebreaker.
But Tsonga finally got his first break in the third set, and another in the fourth, and another in the fifth.
"He can come up with some good stuff and some poor things at times," Federer said. "He had basically good return games along the way in the third, fourth and fifth. I think, especially the third set, the break I get is very unusual. He chips back a couple, they stay in."