Wimbledon First it was a tap, a Jo-Wilfried Tsonga forehand deep in the corner early in the third set that caused Roger Federer to furrow his brow.
It was as if a younger brother poked his finger in the chest of an older sibling and realized for the first time that he could knock him down, the 26-year-old Tsonga slowly gaining confidence against Federer on Wednesday at Wimbledon.
That forehand preceded a 130-mph ace, which turned into a service break that became two and then three until Federer was left behind, pushed around and finally out of Wimbledon for the second consecutive year, an upset loser in a quarterfinal.
For the first time in 179 major tournament matches, Federer squandered a two-set lead and the third-seeded, six-time Wimbledon champion was sent home by the 12th-seeded Tsonga, 3-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Tsonga celebrated his unexpected victory with triumphant twirls around Centre Court. The Frenchman, who made it to the final of the 2008 Australian Open, said this win was his best ever.
“For me, it’s more special because I beat Roger Federer in the quarterfinal on this big court,” Tsonga said. “For me, it’s just amazing. For me, it will be, for sure, one of the best memories of my career.”
Tsonga advanced into a semifinal on Friday against second-seeded Novak Djokovic, who survived a serious scare from 18-year-old qualifier Bernard Tomic.