Federer defeats Tsonga in tough five-setter

by: AP | January 23, 2013

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MELBOURNE, Australia -- Four-time Australian Open winner Roger Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, looked for a while like he might join Serena Williams on the sidelines. But Federer eked out a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3 win over 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in an Australian Open quarterfinal match Wednesday that lasted 3 hours, 34 minutes.

Federer, who broke Tsonga in the fourth game of the deciding set, converted his fifth match point while serving after Tsonga saved four match points in the previous game. Federer, who advanced to the semifinals for the 10th consecutive year at Melbourne Park, will play U.S. Open champion Andy Murray on Friday.

"I thought he played very aggressive," Federer said of Tsonga. "I love those four-set or five-set thrillers and I was part of one tonight."

Murray advanced earlier Wednesday with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Jeremy Chardy. The other men's semifinal has defending champion Novak Djokovic playing David Ferrer on Thursday

Federer was narrowly in front for most of the match but Tsonga stayed in touch with some powerful groundstrokes and a big serve.

The 25-year-old Murray had his service broken for only the second time while serving for the match. But he broke back immediately to clinch the quarterfinal victory.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic plays No. 4-seeded David Ferrer in the other semifinal.

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