Wimbledon Flashback: Roger Federer squanders huge lead over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Roger Federer lost a huge lead over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Roger Federer lost to Tomas Berdych in the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2010, failing to reach the last four for the first time since 2002. Roger failed to contend for the Wimbledon trophy after another quarter-final loss in 2011, falling to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after wasting a massive advantage.

Coming off two loveable sets in a 3-6 6-7 6-4 6-4 6-4 triumph, Jo-Wilfried became the first player to overcome that deficit against Federer at Majors! The Frenchman prevailed in three hours and eight minutes to advance to his maiden Wimbledon semi-final, going one step further than in 2010.

It could have been the first year since 1995 that the top four were seeded in the semifinals. However, Tsonga struggled to change that, taking ten points fewer than Federer but having just one break point throughout the game. The Frenchman served well after that, stealing serve from the Swiss once in sets three, four and five for a place in the last four.

Interestingly, Roger snagged that break in the second game of the encounter and failed to repeat it for the next three hours and four minutes, showing how well Tsonga served in the rest of the clash. A return winner gave Jo-Wilfried a break point in game five.

Roger denied with a solid serve before playing against another break point after Jo-Wilfried’s volley winner. The Swiss erased it with a well-constructed point, blasting two service winners to take it home and forge a 4-1 advantage.

Serving for the set at 5-3, Federer landed three service winners to take it in just 27 minutes and hoped for more of the same in the rest of the encounter. Both players served well in the second set and didn’t offer any break chances before the tie-break.

Roger won 7-3 after a forehand down the line, extending the lead after just 74 minutes and moving closer to the finish line. With no room for error, the Frenchman scored a break in the third game of the third set with a powerful forehand down the line that barely caught the court.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came from two sets behind Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2011.

Tsonga held at 15 in the next game to confirm the advantage, delivering another fine hold to take a 4-1 lead. The Frenchman, who served for the set at 5-4, found himself 0-30 down.

With three deuces, he had to be careful, focus on a high level and finish the set with a service winner to reduce the overall deficit and stay in contention. Jo-Wilfried shot a forehand winner for another lead in the third game of the fourth set.

He cemented it with service in the next, sealing the set with four service winners 5-4 to make a decision after two and a half hours. The momentum had been on his side of the court for over an hour now, barely dropping a point on serve in the fourth set and landing 13 winners and two unforced errors to leave Roger behind.

The Swiss felt the pressure and suffered a break in the first game of the fifth set when the Frenchman forced a forehand error in the crucial moment of the entire clash. Tsonga fired off a good serve and forehand after forehand, sealing the deal with another great serve in game ten.

He fell to the ground in disbelief and celebrated one of the most important victories of his entire career over the six-time Wimbledon winner on the brink of defeat.

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