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FedEx sends Tsonga packing

sports Updated: Jan 24, 2013 01:56 IST
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Roger Federer survived a searching examination from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to win a gripping five-setter and set up an Australian Open semi-final against Andy Murray on Wednesday.

The Swiss world No 2 was pushed all the way and needed five match points before dousing seventh-seeded Tsonga to win 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-3 in 3hr 34min on Rod Laver Arena.

His victory has set up a rematch of last year's Wimbledon final with third seed Murray in Friday's semi-final.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic will play Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer in the other semi on Thursday.

It was Federer's composure under pressure that won the day in the fifth set against the explosive Frenchman, who frequently gave the Swiss great problems with his all-court game.

Federer handled the tension of the deciding set and got a crucial break in the fourth game to take control, but was forced to five match points before he could put Tsonga away to improve his five-set record to 21-16.

“It was a tough close, for sure, the whole match was tough and any set could have gone either way," Federer said. "It's tough because you never know what Joe is going to come up with.

“I hit three great serves there in the fifth set and every time he got them back, and that's what he can do and that's why he remains dangerous throughout a match."

Federer has now reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open for the 10th straight year and also extended his record number of Grand Slam semi appearances to 33.

The Swiss great is bidding to become only the second man to win five Australian titles behind Australian Roy Emerson, who won six in the 1960s. Bopanna-Hsieh lose

Meanwhile, India’s Rohan Bopanna partnering Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei lost their mixed doubles quarterfinal to the Czech-Polish pairing of Kveta Peschke and Marcin Matkowski. Hsieh-Bopanna lost 2-6, 3-6 in 58 minutes at the Margaret Court Arena. The Indo-Taipei duo had more winners, but were unable to earn even a single break-point.

Their opponents notched up four break points in the match of which they converted three. Also, the winning pair won more first serve points which set up the match for them.