Wimbledon: Fans won’t worry Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in semi-final
JO-Wilfried Tsonga’s popularity at Wimbledon is set to be tested on Centre Court tomorrow when he comes up against the home favourite in Andy Murray in the battle to reach Sunday’s final.
As much as it will pain the crowd, he is determined to go one step further than last time, when he lost to Novak Djokovic after defeating Roger Federer in the quarter-finals. The Frenchman secured a second successive semi-final appearance yesterday afternoon with a four-set victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber, winning 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2. His customary victory dance was well received by the cheering spectators, who adore the 27 year-old French showman. His progress to another semi-final is made all the more noteworthy due to the fact that he is without a coach, having split with Eric Winogradsky last year. Unusually, he won’t have the crowd on his side either tomorrow.
Defending a 5-1 career record against Kohlschreiber, Tsonga eventually ran away with the quarter-final clash after battling through three tight sets, his 43 winners and 17 aces proving decisive on Court No 1. Tsonga raced through the fourth set with two breaks of serve.
“I am so happy I have a second chance,” he said. “He played better than me on the baseline and was aggressive.”
Asked about what is certain to be the partisan nature of the crowd on Centre Court tomorrow, he replied: “It’s tennis. Tennis gives you the value of fair play. It is normal if they cheer for Andy.” His head-to-head record with Murray does not give Tsonga too much cause to be optimistic about reaching his second grand slam final, having reached the final of the Australian Open in 2008. He has played against Murray on six occasions, losing five of these meetings.
“I feel good and I am excited about playing in the semis,” Tsonga said, before reasoning that he deserves to feel he has an equal chance of reaching the final, despite his poor record against Murray.
Last year, he said, it was different, when he was pitted against someone such as Djokovic who was obviously out of his league on the day, and who then went on to lift the title. “Last year it was something huge for me to reach the semis,” he said. “This year it is going to be a bit different. I am a bit more of a favourite in the tournament. I am now seed No 5. This time, I don’t play a player who is better than me, so it’s going to be different.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east