PARIS (Reuters) - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga can expect David Ferrer to give him a tougher time than Roger Federer managed when they meet in their French Open semi-final on Friday, former France Davis Cup captain Guy Forget has warned.
Sixth seed Tsonga is bidding to become the first Frenchman to win Roland Garros, let alone a grand slam title, since Yannick Noah prevailed in Paris in 1983.
“For Jo, it is going to be harder against Ferrer than against Roger (Federer),” Forget, a former world number four, told Reuters on Thursday.
Tsonga upset second seed and 17-times grand slam champion Federer in straight sets in the quarter-finals.
“The tough match that was expected for him against Federer did not happen,” Forget, who captained France in the Davis Cup from 1999-2012, said.
“It will be a very balanced contest,” he added, reminding that “between the two, the most consistent player behind the top four is Ferrer.”
Noah, who beat Swede Mats Wilander 6-2 7-5 7-6 in the 1983 final, said Tsonga had the game to match Ferrer.
“What I know is that he (Tsonga) has been playing solidly. He’s strong physically and mentally,” he told reporters.
“One can dream but he can expect a tough match. I have the feeling that he can win. He has what it takes.”
Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Justin Palmer