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Federer beats Tsonga in five, Murray awaits

23 January 2013 14:09

Roger Federer saw off the challenge of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday to book an Australian Open semi-final against Andy Murray.

Federer - a four-time winner at Melbourne Park - struggled with his serve early in the contest, but eventually had too much class from the back of the court for Frenchman Tsonga, whose power serving and purple patches of forehand winners earned him two sets.

The Swiss world number two prevailed 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-3 in three hours and 34 minutes, and will now meet Great Britain's Murray in the semis on Friday.

Federer has now reached the final four in Australia every year since 2004 - the same year he was first triumphant down under.

Tsonga pushed him hard however, with Federer dropping sets and losing service games for the first time at this year's tournament.

The world number seven looked to have the momentum heading into the deciding set, having broken Federer twice to take the fourth comfortably.

But the 17-time grand slam winner asserted himself in the fifth.

Tsonga fought all the way, saving four match points when 2-5 down on his own serve, and making the Swiss maestro serve it out.

Earlier, Murray secured his place in the last four with a 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who surprised sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro in the third round.

It will not be the first meeting between Federer and Murray in the latter stages of the Australian Open - the Swiss beating the younger man in straight sets in the 2010 final.

They traded high-profile blows last year, Federer winning the Wimbledon final at Murray's expense before losing to the Scot in the men's singles gold medal match at the London Olympics.

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