Tsonga takes upset route past Murray to Rogers semis

Fri Aug 8, 2014 8:13pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continued to travel the upset route into the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup, taking out twice former champion Andy Murray 7-6 (5) 4-6 6-4 on Friday, after the eighth seed squandered a 3-0 lead in the final set.

A confident Tsonga heads into Saturday, where he will face Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, having already taken out the two men, - world number one Novak Djokovic and Murray - who between them had won five of the last seven Canadian hard court titles.

After ending an 11-match losing run against Djokovic in the third round, Tsonga brought another barren stretch to an end against Murray.

The Scotsman had dominated their head-to-head encounters, winning nine of 10 contests, the Frenchman's only victory coming in 2008 at the Australian Open.

"It's going better-and-better every day," said Tsonga. "These last couple of months I practiced a lot because I didn't win many matches and I also made the choice to practice than play tournaments because I was not really ready after the knee problem I had last year.

"Now I feel like I'm ready to play. I'm sure I'm playing better than before."

Tsonga has found success over the years on the Canadian hard courts, reaching the semi-finals in three of his four visits and with a win over Dimitrov will advance to his third ATP Masters final.

One of the rising stars on the ATP Tour, Dimitrov needed to dig deep to avoid having his name added to the upset list, the seventh seed battling back to beat South African Kevin Anderson 5-7 7-5 7-6 (6).   Continued...

Aug 8, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) plays a backhand against Andy Murray (GBR) on day five of the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Rexall Centre.  Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports