Canada Flashback: Roger Federer squanders massive lead against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga



by   |  VIEW 3250

Canada Flashback: Roger Federer squanders massive lead against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Roger Federer did not enjoy the best start of the 2009 season, losing to Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in the latter stages of five tournaments and failing to win the title before May. His luck changed in Madrid, beating Rafael Nadal in the final before conquering the "Channel Slam" and entering the record books.

Roger came to Montreal with a 19-match winning streak, defeating Frederic Niemeyer and Stan Wawrinka to reach the quarter-final and facing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a battle for the semis. It was only their second meeting (they would play more often in the years to come), and the Frenchman stunned world no.

1 7-6, 1-6, 7-6 in two hours and 19 minutes, even though Roger led 5-1 in the decider! After losing the opening set, Federer regained the composure and stormed over the opponent to grab the second in no time, using that momentum to open a 5-1 advantage in the decider and move closer to the finish line.

Winning 11 of the previous 14 games, Roger was two points away from the triumph at 5-2 and 5-4 before saving three match points in game 12 to set up a tie break. He lost it 7-3 after a double fault to propel Jo-Wilfried into the second Masters 1000 semi-final!

Federer had ten break chances and won nine points more than his rival, although it was not enough to carry him over the finish line, never wasting such a massive lead in a career. This tournament will remain written down in the history books as the first since the introduction of the ranking in 1973 with eight best-ranked players in the quarter-final.

In Montreal 2009, Roger led 5-1 in the deciding set against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

"Well, it happens in tennis. It's never over until it's over. I thought it was a very up-and-down match and that I should have won the first, especially with Jo completely losing his game for an hour there through the second and third sets.

It was unfortunate I could not serve it up; I thought it was a decent match, I didn't think it was bad, but it wasn't great either. I should never have allowed him to come back, but it did happen, so it's a pity.

I think I got off bad starts on all of my service games towards the end; I was down maybe 30-0 in each service game, which was a problem for me. I had to scramble each time and start playing safe a bit, and that's exactly what he needed because otherwise, I was just going to hand it over to him.

This way, he made me work for it and did well to come back. It's not something I go through very often, being 5-1 in front and ending up losing, especially after not losing serve before that downfall. It's tough, but you're still in it with a chance. I served horribly in both tie breaks, and I guess that cost me the match," Roger Federer said.