Roland Garros—Paris, France
On a day which saw many plot twists before the final ball was struck, top seed Novak Djokovic and No. 3 seed Roger Federer both escaped with five set victories to reach the semifinals of the French Open on Tuesday.
Continuing his quest for a fourth straight major, Djokovic found himself winning the first set against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 21 minutes, before the Frenchman caught fire and held four match points in the fourth set. Using his never-say-die attitude and forehand to great effect, Djokovic powered through his inspired opponent in four hours and nine minutes, 6-1, 5-7, 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-1.
Tangled in a five setter in his previous match with Andreas Seppi, Djokovic will attempt to reach his first ever French Open final when he next faces former winner Federer.
Federer almost saw his Roland Garros campaign come to an end when he trailed Juan Martin del Potro by two sets to love. However, with the five set format aiding his cause, Federer continued to wear down his towering opponent before prevailing, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-0, 6-3.
Improving to 5-0 against del Potro in 2012, Federer struck 59 winners to 43 unforced errors, while breaking the serve of del Potro on eight occasions.
Leading Djokovic 14-11 in their career head-to-head, Federer also owns a slight 3-2 advantage when matches have been played on clay. Federer defeated Djokovic in four riveting sets to end his 43-match winning streak at Roland Garros last year.
Wednesday’s final two quarterfinals will feature Rafael Nadal vs. Nicolas Almagro and Andy Murray vs. David Ferrer.