| Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, after his win, on Wednesday. (AFP)
London: France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached his second successive Wimbledon semi-final with a 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 win over German Philipp Kohlschreiber on Wednesday.
A relieved Tsonga performed his victory twirl around Court One after breaking Kohlschreiber for the second time in the fourth set to win an engrossing but sometimes scrappy encounter in two hours 48 minutes.
The fifth seed sealed victory on his first match point after rushing to the net and firing a forehand crosscourt winner. Tsonga, who lost to Djokovic in the semis last year, will next meet the winner of the quarter-final between fourth seed Andy Murray and Spain’s David Ferrer. The 27-year-old Frenchman took a while to get into his stride, struggling with his first serve and forehand which went straight into the net more times than he will care to remember.
Tsonga had lost to Novak Djokovic in the semis at the last year’s edition of the game For three sets, 27th seed Kohlschreiber was a match for his higher ranked opponent and appeared happy to come into the net or it slug out from the baseline with Tsonga. The German saved five break points in the third set, three thanks to Tsonga netting forehands, and the final with a delectable backhand volley at the net. But Tsongatook the tiebreak when his opponent netted and that seemed to galvanise the French No. 1.
Meanwhile, Andy Murray reached his fourth straight Wimbledon semi-final by rallying from a set and a break down to hold off David Ferrer of Spain 6-7 (5), 7-6 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (4). Murray broke Ferrer when he served for the second set at 5-4 and then saved a set point at 6-5 in the tie-breaker to seize the momentum on Centre Court. The match was suspended for about 25 minutes at 5-5 in the fourth set, and Murray once again proved stronger in the tiebreaker when play resumed. He converted his first match point with an ace.
In the mixed doubles, Leander Paes and his Russian partner Elena Vesnina reached the pre-quarter finals with a straight-set win over Australia’s Ashley Fisher and Mona Barthel of Germany. The fourth-seeded Indo-Russian pair beat Fisher and Barthel 6-3, 6-3 in a match that lasted just over an hour. The duo will next take on Belarussian pair of Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka.
In the first set, Paes and Vesnina broke their rivals thrice out of the six opportunities, while the Australian and German pair converted the only chance that came their way. Ashley and Mona did sent down three aces but that didn’t make any difference to the result.
In the second set, the Indo-Russian pair converted one out of the five break point chances and didn’t give any opportunity to their rivals.
David Ferrer (7, ESP) bt Juan Martin del Potro (9, Arg) 6-3, 6-2, 6-3; Philipp Kohlschreiber (27, Ger) bt Brian Baker (US) 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-3;
Serena Williams (6, US) bt Petra Kvitova (4, Cze) 6-3, 7-5; Angelique Kerber (8, Ger) bt Sabine Lisicki (15, Ger) 6-3, 6-7 (7), 7-5; Victoria Azarenka (2, Blr) bt Tamira Paszek (Aut) 6-3, 7-6 (4); Agnieszka Radwanska (3, Pol) bt Maria Kirilenko (17, Rus) 7-5, 4-6, 7-5
Mikhail Elgin/ Denis Istomin (Rus/Uzb) bt Mahesh Bhupathi/Rohan Bopanna (7, Ind) 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-3
Note: Seeded players and Indians only