NEW YORK, (Reuters): Roger Federer avenged his surprise loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at this year’s Wimbledon by beating the Frenchman 6-4 6-3 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the U.S. Open.
Playing his first grand slam tournament as a 30-year-old, the five-times U.S. Open champion was lethal with his serve, whipped angled winners with swashbuckling aplomb and was razor-sharp at the net.
The third-seeded Federer advanced to a scintillating showdown in the last four against top seed Novak Djokovic for his eighth straight U.S. Open semi-finals appearance.
World number one Djokovic, the Australian and Wimbledon champion, reached the semis when his Serbian Davis Cup team mate Janko Tipsarevic retired with a leg injury while trailing 7-6 6-7 6-0 3-0.
Five-time winner Federer has lost just one set at Flushing Meadows on his way to the semis.
“I played great,” said Federer, who boomed in 72 percent of his first serves in Thursday’s closing match at Arthur Ashe Stadium. “For me it continues, and that is awesome.
“I’m very happy with the way I’m playing, the way I’m moving and I’m enjoying myself on the court.”
Tsonga was coming off a five-set victory in which he came back after trailing two sets to one against American Mardy Fish and was not at his sharpest.
“I didn’t play really well. I didn’t move well,” said Tsonga, 26. “I didn’t serve well enough (53 percent of first serves), my energy level was down.”
Federer, who has won a record 16 grand slam singles crowns, is hoping to preserve his streak of at least one grand slam title every year since capturing his first at 2003 Wimbledon.
He lost to Djokovic in the semi-finals at the Australian Open, was runner-up to Rafa Nadal at the French Open and fell to Tsonga at Wimbledon.
Tsonga said Federer remained formidable.
“Every time when he lost, people said ‘Roger, he is finished.’ But for me, he’s still the same player. He is very good.
“When the confidence is here for him, it’s (hard) for everybody to play against him.”
Djokovic carries a remarkable 62-2 season record into the semi-finals clash.
Federer said he looked forward to their fourth successive reunion in the U.S. Open semi-finals.
Djokovic won last year with Federer taking their previous two showdowns at Flushing Meadows.