Sloane Stephens upsets Serena, while Federer advances at Australian Open
The American teenager outlasted the former Australian Open ladies champion in one quarterfinal match. Meanwhile, Roger Federer will play Andy Murray in the men's semifinals.
(Page 2 of 2)
"I couldn't really rotate after that, which I guess is normal. I don't know.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
"It was giving me trouble. But it was fine. I think my opponent played well and was able to do a really good job."
Federer, also 31, started his match against Tsonga by breaking the Frenchman but it was just one of nine breaks in an absorbing three-and-a-half-hour contest that see-sawed back and forth all evening.
Tsonga, a finalist here in 2008, was tactically smart, sent down 20 booming aces and produced some brilliant forehands that overpowered even Federer's defenses at times.
The 17-times grand-slam champion rode his luck on occasions, too, but had something in reserve for the deciding set and finally overcame the seventh seed's resistance with a smash on his fifth match point to clinch a 7-6 4-6 7-6 3-6 6-3 win.
"It was a tough close for sure, but the whole match was tough. Every set could have gone either way," said Federer, whose victory ensured the top four seeds made the semi-finals for the 15th time at a grand slam in the professional era.
"With Jo, you never know what he's going to come up with. I feel a bit lucky to come through but feel I played some great tennis and Jo did too."
Murray, the U.S. Open champion, ruthlessly exploited Frenchman Chardy's weaker backhand with a number of successful raids to the net in his 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory.
The third-seeded Briton had spent just over seven hours on court in his previous four matches and needed only another 111 minutes to complete a one-sided hammering of the world number 36.
"I thought I did a pretty good job throughout the match," the Scot, who was wearing a T-shirt reading "PREPARE, ATTACK, DESTROY" for his news conference, said with typical understatement.
"There were a couple of games I could have done a bit better on, but for the most part it was good."
Azarenka had barely been tested on her way to the last eight and the 77-minute first set against former U.S. Open and French Open champion Kuznetsova was longer than her entire fourth-round match.
Kuznetsova, refreshed after missing the entire back end of last season with a knee injury, seemed to catch Azarenka by surprise and raced to a 4-1 lead in bright morning sunshine.
RECOMMENDED: Who is the best tennis player of all time?
Azarenka rode the storm, however, and the slices with which the Russian world number 75 had bamboozled the Belarussian grew steadily less effective as the world number one drove home her advantage to win 7-5 6-1.
"It was important to take the opportunities to kind of make a big statement," said Azarenka. "I think I did that and I turned things around into my own way."