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Tsonga Fights Way to Toronto Title

Tsonga Knocks Off Federer
Tsonga Knocks Off Federer
E. Fortunato Orencia/Samsun

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the 2014 Toronto Final edging Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) on Sunday after a week of big wins over rivals.

Tsonga, who earlier in the week was clocked at a high of 147 miles per hour on his serve, kept Federer off balance with strong serving and frequent forays into the net.

Both players held serve comfortably in the first set until Federer was forced to deuce at 3-4. Federer would hold by winning the next two points - buttressed by a strong first serve and an unforced error by Tsonga.

Federer went up 0-30 in the eleventh game but a Tsonga ace, forehand salvo and overhead winner gave Tsonga a game point. He would eventually hold with two big first serves.

In the twelvth game at 30-30, Federer slid a backhand wide, giving the first break point of the set to the Frenchman. When Federer sailed a forehand well long, Tsonga had won a mostly sloppy and error-filled first set, 7-5.

In the second set, Tsonga earned break point at 2-3 but Federer hit three clutch penetrating serves to hold for 3-3.

In the eighth game, Federer double-faulted for a 15-40 deficit but a volley winner and unreturnable first serve brought him back to deuce. Tsonga would hold two more break points but, again, Federer staved off one with a service winner and the second one with an ace up the middle. A wide serve which Tsonga could not put in play and another ace (with no more challenges) up the middle evened the match at 4-4.

Tsonga held match point at 5-6 when Federer double-faulted, was passed at net and waved a forehand long after leading 40-15. Federer would end a long rally with a down the line approach shot. The players would battle for three more deuce points before Federer nipped the center line for an ace and then closed the game after Tsonga punched a backhand wide. It was now 5-5.

The two both held easily to force a tiebreaker.

Tsonga would earn the mini-break when Federer misfired way long on a backhand. Tsonga would hold his two serves with a service winner and a forehand winner after a weak return of serve. It was now championship point....again.

This time, Tsonga would waste little time as he forced Federer to bang another backhand into the net.

It was the first Masters 1000 title for Tsonga. He announced himself as a possible contender at the U.S. Open in September with wins over top ten players Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Grigor Dmitrov and now, Roger Federer.

The fighting Frenchman has been celebrating his wins with shadow boxing movements and yesterday he completed a week for which his mental tenaciousness eventually made the difference.

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