Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the Rogers Cup on Sunday after a 7-5, 7-6 victory over Roger Federer in Toronto. The triumph marks Tsonga’s 11th career ATP title and only his second Masters 1000 tournament win. The Frenchman also defeated Grigor Dimitrov, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray en route to the trophy.
Federer won the toss as Tsonga served first. The Swiss showed a real willingness to come forward, particularly on his own serve. Despite regular unforced errors by the 17-times Major winner and an average first serve by the Frenchman, the set remained on serve until 6-5 when Federer’s unforced errors caught up with him.
There was a particularly impressive over-the-top forehand winner from Tsonga down the line from the baseline at 5-5, 15-30 that deserves special mention for the power displayed by the 29-year old. Tsonga was a 7-5 first set winner, hitting six aces along the way to Federer’s zero.
The Frenchman was only landing 46% of his first serves. Despite that poor figure, Tsonga was winning 94% of the points on his first serve and that was proving to be the difference. The 13th seed was edging nearer to victory although the second set remained on serve.
There was a special moment at 2-3, 40-Ad when the former world number one pulled out a top drawer ace that rolled back the years. Federer held on to keep the set level at 3-3 and stay in touch. The Swiss was in trouble again at 3-4, 15-40.
After serving a fault, he recovered to save the first break point before a great serve into the corner brought the game level. After a ding-dong deuce duel, Federer forced the set to continue competitively at 4-4. There was serious pressure at 4-5, 40-Ad as Tsonga held his first match point.
After a fault down the line, the 33-year old saved the championship point after a nervy rally on the second serve. The Swiss saved the day once more as the match continued at 5-5. Tsonga would hold serve and the pressure was back on Federer, who would hold forcing a second set tie-breaker.
Both men were serving superbly and were not giving an inch until 3-3. That was the moment when a Federer backhand went awry to hand the Frenchman the mini-break. It was the Swiss’ 36th unforced error (37 in total) of the encounter to the 18 of Tsonga.
An ace and a forehand winner on the third shot of the next rally handed Tsonga double match point. A backhand into the net by Federer handed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga a stunning victory as he defeated four top ten players along the way to the title; the first time he had ever achieved that feat in his career.