Back in 2010, Tomas Berdych toppled Roger Federer in the quarter-final at Wimbledon, leaving Roger without the semi-final at the All England Club for the first time since 2002. That happened again a year later, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ousting the Swiss in the quarter-final at Wimbledon 2011 after a marvelous comeback from two sets to love down, becoming the first player who overcame that deficit against Roger at Majors.
Jo-Wilfried prevailed 3-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in three hours and eight minutes, moving one step further than a year ago when he competed in the last eight and entering the record books as only the third player after Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian who crossed the finish line first against Federer after dropping the opening two sets.
It could have been the first year with top four seeds in the semis since 1995 but Tsonga took care to change that, taking ten points less than Roger but facing only one break point in the entire match, serving well after that and stealing Federer's serve once in sets three, four and five for the place in the last four.
Interestingly, Roger grabbed that break in the second game of the encounter and that was the only return game he managed to win for the next three hours and four minutes, which shows how good Tsonga served in the rest of the clash.
A return winner gave Jo-Wilfried a break point in game five, denied by a solid serve from Roger who had to play against another break point after a volley winner from the Frenchman. A well-constructed point from the Swiss erased the chance and he blasted two service winners to bring the game home and move 4-1 in front.
Serving for the set at 5-3, Federer landed three service winners to clinch the set in just 27 minutes, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the encounter. Both players served well in set number two, offering no break chances before the tie break that Roger claimed 7-3 after a forehand down the line winner, increasing the lead after just 74 minutes and moving closer to the finish line.
With no room for errors, the Frenchman scored a break in the third game of the third set with a powerful forehand down the line that barely caught the court, holding at 15 to confirm the advantage and delivering another fine service game to go 4-1 in front.
Serving for the set at 5-4, Tsonga found himself 30-0 down and had to be careful at three deuces, keeping the focus on a high level and closing the set with a service winner to reduce the overall deficit and stay in contention.
Jo-Wilfried fired a forehand winner in the third game of the fourth set for another lead, cementing it with a hold at love in the next game and sealing the set with four service winners at 5-4, setting up a decider after two and a half hours.
The momentum was on his side of the court for more than an hour now, barely losing a point on serve in set number four and landing 13 winners and two unforced errors to leave Roger behind. Feeling the pressure, the Swiss suffered a break in the very first game of the decider when Jo-Wilfried forced a forehand error, in what proved to be the crucial point of the entire clash.
Firing one good serve and forehand after another, Tsonga sealed the deal with another great hold in game ten, falling to the ground in disbelief and celebrating one of the most significant victories of the entire career over the six-time Wimbledon champion from brink of defeat.