(August 10, 2014) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga became the first Frenchman to win the Rogers Cup, defeating No. 2 seed Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6 (3) taking down his fourth straight top 10 opponent.
He beat No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Thursday, No. 8 Andy Murray in the quarterfinals and No. 7 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals. This marks the first time that a player has defeated four top 10 players in a row in Canada since 2002.
For the Frenchman it was his first ATP World Tour title win of the year and 11th overall. Tsonga is now 5-11 versus the Swiss.
In the first set both men held serve through the first 11 games. With Federer serving in the 12th game, fell behind and faced his fist break point in the match. The world No. 3 hit a forehand long to give Tsonga the set.
In the second set, Tsonga kept his opponent at bay – he missed out on break point chances in the sixth game and in the eighth game. Federer saved a match point in the tenth game and both men held to force a tiebreak.
Tsonga took the mini-break advantage at 4-3 and closed out the match by winning the next three points.
“I think it was the overall day conditions that were tough for me,” Federer said. “It was faster than in the night, all my previous matches, so I think the turnaround was tough.
“I definitely think Jo served well, and when he does serve well it’s always going to be hard. But not to win more points on his first serve ‑‑ I don’t know the second serve stat, but I need to have a better impact on that normally.
“Today was just difficult in terms of rhythm from the baseline, so it was like a new tournament for me today.
“No excuses. I think he played really solid and well when he had to, and like you mentioned, I think he served well overall, which was key for him.”
“I don’t realize really what I achieved this week, but it’s a big achievement for me,” Tsonga said.
“It’s completely different than before when I won in Paris. In Paris it was the first one, you know, behind my family, all my friends, everybody. I think I did it with my hurt, you know, in Paris. Here I just did it with my level, with my game.
“I played well all this week. I beat many good guys. You know, it’s a big achievement because I worked really hard to come back from my knee injury last year.”
Asked about the pro-Federer crowd, Tsonga said: “When you play Roger, of course you are always the challenger for the people in the crowd, so some of them are for you because they want you to do a good performance, but most of them are for Roger because he’s the guy who did the most for tennis since a long time now, and he deserve it and that’s it.”
At No. 15, Tsonga is the first ATP Masters 1000 winner ranked outside the Top 10 since No. 26 Ivan Ljubicic won Indian Wells back in 2010 over Andy Roddick. Tsonga will move back into the top 10 when the rankings come out on Monday.