Tsonga gets past Nishikori in a 5-setter to reach French Open Semis

Home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga knocked out fifth-seed Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 in a dramatic Quarter-Final match at the French Open. The 30-year-old Frenchman, became the second player on the day to enter the Semi-Final to set up a match against Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat Roger Federer in straight sets earlier.

Tsonga, seeded 14th, was cheered on by a passionate French crowd as he ran off with the 1st set with a powerful serve and forehand. Tsonga led 6-1, 5-2 when a bizarre incident happened as a piece of metal was blown into the stands delaying the proceedings for 30 minutes. But, Tsonga was quick to wrap up the second set.

The Japanese star, Nishikori stormed back to take the third and fourth sets to force a thrilling match in front of the French crowd. But Tsonga maintained his composure, converting one of his two break-point chances in the fifth set for victory.

The Frenchman fired 10 aces and hit 44 winners in the 3 hour, 44-minute win. The local favourite will next face 8th seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the first Semi-Final of Roland Garros 2015. It will be the seventh meeting between Wawrinka and Tsonga, who are level at 3-3 in their head-to-head series. Wawrinka will be looking to do well in his first Semi-Final appearance at Roland Garros.

This match can be a classy encounter if Tsonga maintains his composure and starts off the proceedings like the way he did against Kei Nishikori. Meanwhile, Wawrinka was at his lethal best against Federer and would want to continue with the same tempo.

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Rishvik Pandra