Well, remember all those clueless people like me who predicted it would be same old, same old once the Big Boys returned to the tour in Montreal? Yeah, me neither.
Roger Federer lost Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the second time this year and the second time in Montreal, flaming out 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-1 in Thursday’s third round evening session. Roger joins Rafael Nadal on the early route to Cincy. Andy Murray would be joining them, except he and his brother are still playing the doubles.
Here’s Roger, cool as a cucumber after being manhandled by the Frenchman (via AFP):
“He’s playing well. I thought if he was going to play well again, and me not at my best, he could do it again,” Federer said of Tsonga.
“It’s not like he’s beating me the first time.
It’s no surprise, says Roger, but let’s not get carried away:
“New York is in one month — it’s far away. For the time being, the focus is here, not elsewhere. But if you want to talk about the US Open, I can tell you I feel good mentally and I’m playing well.“
This match-up is always a lose-lose for me. I’m obviously a huge Fed fan and Tsonga is my second favorite on tour when I apply the root test. The root test is the ultimate truth teller – you could put Tsonga across the net from Betty White or that bespectacled kid from Jerry Maguire and I’d still, deep down, want Jo-Dubs to wipe the floor with them. But my internal fan-girl wiring gets all twisted up when Jo wipes the floor with Roger, as he did in the final set last evening and the final two and a half sets of this year’s Wimbledon quarterfinals. I blow a fuse, and Roger powers my generator.
Now onto the “at leasts.”
At least it was Jo who done the deed. And at least it was a good match – just check out the highlights below. At least Roger won a match this week. And at least, with Nadal and Murray also out, we don’t have to hear about Roger’s inevitable decline too much more. It’s way cooler to worry about Rafa and Andy, anyway.
There’s no worrying about Nole, unless you’re worried about his continued domination of the field. He remains on top of the heap, 50-1 win-loss for the season now after taking out Marin Cilic on Thursday. Amazing. Sick. Scary good. That’s all there is to it. It’s also nice to see Monfils and Fish through. There’s still plenty of great tennis left to be played in Montreal, even if some of the suspense has dissipated.
Toronto is a bit of a mess, with seeds Francesca Schiavone, Vera Zvonareva, Maria Sharapova, Li Na and Petra Kvitova all booted out of the tournament on Thursday. Wozniacki-killer, Roberta Vinci, followed up with a win over Ana Ivanovic. Serena Williams lost the first set to Zheng Jie in the evening session but managed to turn the match around. Listen up, Roger (via WTA):
“The thought ‘I’m gonna lose’ never ever crosses my mind, even if I’m down match point,” Williams said. “After I lost the first set, I just thought about the third set. If I lose the first set, I’m automatically thinking about the third set.”
Serena will take on Lucie Safarova in the quarters.