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Another Slam, another exit for Tsonga

Posted 01-28-2013 at 08:59 AM by Philip Oliver
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s dreams of winning a maiden Grand Slam are fading fast after the Frenchman again fell at the quarter-final stage, this time to the hands of Swiss supremo Roger Federer in Melbourne.

Tsonga, who came into the Australian Open without much singles preparation in early January, was widely tipped on Betfair as an outsider to make the semi-finals at the tournament and looked good in the opening rounds as he made the quarters with consummate ease, dropping just one set.

It was his ninth Grand Slam quarter and he will have felt confident up against Federer, the world number two but a player he has won three matches against, and must have sensed a semi-final clash with Andy Murray on the horizon – even if the Tennis odds suggested otherwise.

Indeed, Tsonga was in his element when he won the fourth set 6-3 to even the scores heading into the fifth, but out of nowhere Federer found his game to take the match 7-6 4-6 7-6 3-6 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena. The Swiss proved to have something Tsonga just doesn’t carry – that extra bite, that drive and class to get over the line when required.

Tsonga, yet again, crashed out of the tournament when there was hope he could have gone a lot further. He pulled a set back against Andy Murray in the semis at Wimbledon last year before bombing 7-5 in the fourth to exit; while his four-set defeat to Novak Djokovic in the 2008 Australian Open final started so well with a 6-4 first-set win.

This defeat to Federer was his fifth Grand Slam quarters loss in nine, while he has only ever made one final. Tsonga is slowly running out of time to win a major before his body starts to wear out and the 27-year-old is fast becoming the best of the rest as he perpetually fails to match the ATP\s elite competitors.
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