Top seed Roger Federer stayed on course for Halle's 10th crown in 2019, advancing to the 17th quarterfinal in one of the favorite events with a close 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 win over Jo- Wilfried Tsonga in two hours and 16 minutes.
Playing against each other for the first time since Monte Carlo 2016, Federer had to do his best to score the first win over Tsonga since 2014, also serving as a rematch for that terrible loss at Wimbledon in 2011 when he was two sets ahead.
As against Millman in the first round, it was not the most excellent performance by the best turf player in the Open Era, earning one more point than Jo-Wilfried and facing seven break opportunities. The Frenchman converted just two of those, coming from a set and a break and stayed in contention until the deciding game at 5-5 in the third when Roger broke to take the final step to victory.
With 15 aces and 46 winners overall, Tsonga also made 31 unforced errors, while The Swiss remained at a 35-19 ratio, finding a way to cross the finish line first and move to the last eight. Returners took just one point in the first four games, and Federer was the first to experience problems with the 2-2 kickoff.
He fended off two break points to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard and created a set point on the comeback at 5-4 with a winning volley. Jo-Wilfried saved him with a great serve, and the tie break became inevitable at that point.
The Frenchman opened a 3-0 lead before Roger fought back, notching a deep return at 5-4 and securing the first set with a service-winning 6-5 after 50 minutes. Driven by this momentum, the crowd favorite threw another excellent return to open the second set with a break, forging a 3-1 lead before Tsonga erased the deficit with a break in the sixth game after a strong volley by Roger.
could not control. The Frenchman had the upper hand in those moments, playing well and delivering another break at 5-4 after Federer's volley error to close out the set and establish a decider. In one of the crucial moments, Roger repelled a break opportunity in the sixth game of the third set and earned a break at 15 at 5-5 to claim the victory.
Four winners pushed Federer to the finish line in that twelfth game for his 65th win at Halle, setting up the quarterfinal clash against Roberto Bautista Agut.
Bencic talks about Roger Federer
Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic has spoken on how she feels her triumph is not just for her and her nation, but also for Swiss greats Roger Federer and Martina Hingis.
Martina Hingis’ best Olympic result came at Rio 2016 with a silver medal in the women’s doubles, while Federer has a singles silver from London 2012 and men’s doubles gold from Beijing 2008 to his name. Bencic further revealed that Federer sent her a message of good luck ahead of her singles final.
“Yes, he wrote to me. He said it was the perfect day to reach my dreams and I was really happy about that. And he was absolutely right. He is incredible in that way, he really supports all of the Swiss players. He is behind us and it’s just incredible the type of support I receive from Roger Federer, so this win is also for him”.