From Hero to Zero: Roger Federer’s Massive Lead Slips Away Against Tsonga

Roger Federer led 5-1 in the deciding set against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2009 Canada Masters QF

Roger Federer came to Montreal 2009 with a 19-match winning streak following the “Channel Slam.” However, it was not to be for the Swiss in Canada, squandering a massive 5-1 advantage in the decider versus Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and losing in the quarter-final.

After a slow start to the season, Federer picked up his pace in May and claimed the Madrid Masters crown. The Swiss Maestro went on and conquered Roland Garros and Wimbledon, standing on the record-breaking 15 Major titles.

Roger came to Montreal with a 19-match winning streak. He defeated Frederic Niemeyer and Stan Wawrinka to reach the quarter-final, facing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a battle for the semi-final. It was only their second meeting (they would play more often in the years to come), and the Frenchman stunned world no.

1 7-6, 1-6, 7-6 in two hours and 19 minutes. Jo-Wilfried trailed 5-1 in the deciding set before performing a thrilling comeback, prevailing in the tie break and staying on the title course. Federer regained his composure after losing the opening set.

Roger Federer squandered a 5-1 lead against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Montreal 2009.
He stormed over the opponent to grab the second set in no time and used that momentum to open a 5-1 advantage in the decider.

Winning 11 of the previous 14 games, Roger was two points away from the triumph at 5-2 and 5-4. Tsonga survived those games and played well to erase the deficit and create three match points in game 12. Federer defended them to enter a tie break, but it was not to be for him in the end.

He lost it 7-3 after a double fault to propel Jo-Wilfried into his second Masters 1000 semi-final. Federer had ten break chances and won nine points more than his rival. However, it was not enough to carry him over the finish line, never wasting such a massive lead in a career.

Also, this tournament will remain written down in the history books for another thing. It was the first event since the ATP ranking introduction in 1973 with the world’s eight best-ranked players in the quarter-final. “Well, it happens in tennis.

It’s never over until it’s over. I thought it was a very up-and-down match, and I should have won the first set. Even more, Jo completely lost his game for an hour through the second and third sets. It was unfortunate I could not serve it up.

I thought it was a decent match, I did not think it was bad, but it was not great either. I should never have allowed him to return, but it did happen, so it’s a pity. I think I got off to bad starts on all of my service games towards the end; I was down maybe 30-0 in each service game, which was a problem.

I had to scramble each time and start playing safe a bit. He needed that because otherwise, I would hand it over to him. This way, he made me work for it and did well to return to the positive side. It’s not something I go through very often, being 5-1 in front and ending up losing, especially after not losing serve before that downfall.

It’s tough, but you are still in it with a chance. I served horribly in both tie breaks, and I guess that cost me the match,” Roger Federer said.

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