In 2010, Tomas Berdych toppled Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarter-final, leaving Roger without the semi-final at the All England Club for the first time since 2002. A year later, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did the same after ousting the Swiss in the quarter-final following a marvelous comeback from two sets to love down, becoming the first player to achieve that 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 12 months ago when he competed in the last eight. The Frenchman also entered the record books as only the third player after Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian with a win over Roger despite losing 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 spoil that, taking ten points less than Roger but playing against only one break chance in the entire clash, serving well 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 couldn't repeat that for the next three hours, an excellent indicator of Jo-Wilfried's performance behind the initial shot in this thrilling win.
A return winner gave Tsonga a break point in game five, denied by a solid serve from Roger who had to play against another one after a volley winner from the Frenchman.
A well-constructed attack from the Swiss kept him safe, blasting 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 opener in swift 27 minutes, hoping for more of the same for 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 74 minutes and taking a big step towards 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 landed in, holding at 15 to confirm the advantage and delivering another fine service game to forge a 4-1 lead.
Serving for the set at 5-4, Tsonga found himself 30-0 down and had to be careful at three deuces, keeping his focus 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 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 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 moved over the top 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 Roger Federer from the brink of defeat.