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Federer vs. Tsonga – Preview and Prediction

Ok…a very interesting Grand Slam(GS) semifinal is coming up…we only get 8 of these a year – the moments tennis fans live for. 

Federer vs. Tsonga – The 15 time grand slam winner playing in his 23rd straight GS semifinal…23rd STRAIGHT…vs the 24 year old Ali lookalike from France.   Fed ‘s #’s are legendary, as you can see below, but they are also trending down…6 slams in 06 & 07, only 3 in 08 & 09.  If you watch him closely you see why…doesn’t hit as well on the move, doesn’t move quite as quickly as he used to, gets a little more pushed around by the big boys in rallies than he used to.  He’s 28, and that is definitely NOT young on the ATP Tour.  It’s equivalent to maybe 33 in the NBA, 30 in football (skill position, RB or WR).

Federer
Year Slams
2003 1
2004 3
2005 2
2006 3
2007 3
2008 1
2009 2

Looking at what Davydenko was able to do to Fed for the first set & a half in the quarters, which was totally dominate 85-90% of the rallies, tells me Fed will have his work cut out for him to take down the big Frenchman.  Tsonga is currently 10th in the world, made the finals here 2 years ago (losing to Djokovic), and had the following slam results in 2009 starting with the Aussie: QFs, 4th, 3rd, and 4th round loss at the US Open.  So he’s clearly legit, in the semi’s of a slam for the 2nd time, and hits the ball a ton.  Oh, and he moves really well for a big man – very good athlete.  Watch here, playing Fed in Madrid in 2008.

So with all that said, I see Tsonga taking it in 4 sets.  He should have an easier time controlling the rallies, and I’m assuming he won’t go into any deep funk like Davydenko did in the quarters.

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