Paris • By Roger Federer’s standards, defeat came early in the French Open. And it came quickly.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion lost Tuesday in the quarterfinals to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, 7-5, 6-3, 6-3.
Federer was eliminated before the semifinals for the second time in past three Grand Slam tournaments, but only the fifth time in the past nine years at a major event. Tsonga was responsible for two of the losses — he also beat Federer in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2011.
"I’m pretty sad about the match and the way I played," Federer said. "He was in all areas better than me today. That’s why the result was pretty clean."
Serena Williams narrowly averted Federer’s fate. She came from behind in the third set and advanced to the French Open semifinals for the first time since 2003 when she defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
Williams had been beaten the last four times she reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals, most recently in 2010. The 15-time Grand Slam champion, who is ranked No. 1, won her only French Open title in 2002.
"I just got tired of losing in the quarters," she said. "I was so determined to get through that, and I really, really, really, really wanted it more than I think anyone. So I think that kind of helped."
Tsonga earned his first berth in the Roland Garros semifinals and is trying to become the first Frenchman to win the tournament since Yannick Noah in 1983. He’s the first Frenchman to reach the semifinals since Gael Monfils in 2008.
"I can’t have better a dream," Tsonga told the center court crowd. "So far I play very well. I played against a champion today, a guy who has won everything. Today it’s my turn."
On Friday he’ll play No. 4-seeded David Ferrer, who beat fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-1, 6-1.
Tsonga was runner-up to Novak Djokovic at the 2008 Australian Open, his best Grand Slam result. Ranked No. 8, he dominated Federer with his blend of power and athleticism.Next Page >
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