By Chris Oddo | Sunday, August 10, 2014
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga finished off his giant-killing run in Toronto with a 7-5, 7-6(3) decision over Roger Federer.
Photo Source: Ronald Martinez/ Getty
The giant killer of Toronto proved that he himself is giant on Sunday, as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga culminated his week-long slash-and-burn of the ATP’s top 10 with a rousing 7-5, 7-6(3) victory over Roger Federer to win the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
The Frenchman, who will return to the ATP’s top ten on Monday, struck 11 aces and hit 26 winners on the day, but most importantly he was a calmer, steadier force than Federer on the biggest points.
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With the victory, Tsonga becomes the first Frenchman to win the Rogers Cup, as well as becoming only the seventh active player to hold multiple Masters 1000 titles.
“I’m just so happy,” Tsonga told the crowd after the final. “It’s impressive to be here in front of you guys, it’s going to stay in my heart forever.”
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Tsonga was unstoppable on serve throughout the briskly played affair, as he never faced a break point, and only dropped two points behind his first serve.
There was very little between the two in the first set, but with Federer serving to force a tiebreaker at 5-6, he went for too much on a backhand at 30-all, sending it wide to give Tsonga his first break point of the match. Federer, playing in his fifth Rogers Cup final, would miss badly on a forehand on the next point to yield the set to Tsonga.
While Tsonga continued to rumble through his service games in the second set, Federer was forced to dig deeper and deeper. But he did so with success, saving a break point with an ace at 2-3, then using some sublime net play to knock back four break points at 3-4.
But Federer wasn’t out of hot water yet. With his game still lacking focus, he would rely on his guts to save a match point with a high-risk down-the-line forehand at 4-5.
Though Tsonga was the boss of the baseline on this day, Federer managed to gain enough traction by the end of the set to force a tiebreaker. But the same errant backhand that did him in for much of the match reared its ugly head in the breaker, as Federer sailed one long at 3-3 to give Tsonga the mini-break, then netted one on Tsonga’s second match point to close proceedings after one hour and forty-seven minutes.
Federer finished the day with zero winners against 15 unforced errors on the backhand side, and his 37 unforced errors in total were more than double Tsonga’s 18.
But the story of the day—and of the week—was the cool moxie of Tsonga, who seemed to be in danger of becoming a non-factor on tour after several lackluster performances in 2014 that saw him enter Toronto with an 0-7 against the top ten.
But four resounding victories later—over Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov and now Federer—Tsonga is back into the top ten and looking like a viable threat to make a deep run at this year’s U.S. Open.
Tsonga is the first player to notch four top 10 wins in the same year in Canada since 2002 (Canas).
Tsonga joins Federer (21), Novak Djokovic (19), Rafael Nadal (27), Andy Murray (9), Nikolay Davydenko (3) and Lleyton Hewitt (2) as one of the seven active players to have earned multiple Masters 1000 titles.
Federer now leads Tsonga 11-5 lifetime.
Federer is set to become the first player to win 300 Masters 1000 matches next week in Cincinnati. His current Masters record drops to 299-89 with the loss.