The hardwatching staff has seen the great Roger Federer play a ton of matches over the past half-dozen years, but we’ve rarely seen him perform the way he did against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga yesterday.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Roger Federer is stunned by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Wimbledon quarterfinals
Six-time champion loses a two-set lead at a Grand Slam event for the first time
It was as if a younger brother poked his finger in the chest of an older sibling and realized for the first time that he could knock him down, the 26-year-old Tsonga slowly gaining confidence against Federer on Wednesday at Wimbledon.
That forehand preceded a 130-mph ace, which turned into a service break that became two and then three until Federer was left behind, pushed around and finally out of Wimbledon for the second consecutive year, an upset loser in a quarterfinal.
For the first time in 179 major tournament matches, Federer squandered a two-set lead and the third-seeded, six-time Wimbledon champion was sent home by the 12th-seeded Tsonga, 3-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
Federer didn’t exactly “go away” (as John McEnroe might put it) in the final three sets, but he seemed peculiarly resigned to defeat – very much the way he was in several French Open beatdowns by Rafael Nadal.
Except this was Jo-Willie Tsonga. He’s the guy Federer beats in five.
Except this time he didn’t.
Final game of fifth set:
The hardworking staff has always fancied Nadal over Federer, but that hardly means we don’t respect Federer’s monumental accomplishments.
This was just a sad way to go for a great champion.