Roger Federer swore Sunday that he hadn’t hurt himself when he caught his foot in the red clay at Roland Garros, twisted it and gutted out a five-set victory.
But on Tuesday, in a quarterfinal against No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, he indisputably was not the Roger Federer of old in a straight-sets loss. Tsonga won 7-5, 6-3, 6-3, advancing to a semifinal against Spain’s David Ferrer, a 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 winner over Tommy Robredo.
The French Open has never been Federer’s forte; he counts only one Roland Garros victory among his 17 Grand Slam titles. “I didn’t hurt myself or anything,” Federer said Sunday after his five-set win over Gilles Simon and he reiterated that after what he called “a crushing loss” today. For whatever reason, nothing really was working for him.
“I think I struggled a little bit everywhere,” Federer said (via the BBC). “To be honest, personally, I’m pretty sad about the match and the way I played.
“But that’s how it goes, you know. I tried to figure things out, but it was difficult and Jo does a good job keeping the pressure on. He can serve his way out of trouble at times, and I think as well he was just better in all areas.”
Tsonga beat Federer in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2011. This is the second consecutive year in which Federer has lost in straight sets in the French Open. Last year, Novak Djokovic knocked him out. At 31, Federer has not won a tournament this year. That’s his longest spell since 2000.