MONTREAL - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has had twice stunned Roger Federer with spectacular comebacks, so his latest upset of the Swiss star was relatively easy by comparison.
The Frenchman toppled the No. 3 seed 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 to make a surprise appearance in a Rogers Cup quarterfinal that will be missing three of tennisí Big Four.
Tsonga, the 13th seed, was sharper overall on Wednesday evening, especially in the deciding set in which he broke Federer three times and showed much stronger service returns.
Itís Tsongaís third career win over Federer. He upset the Swiss star at the Wimbledon quarterfinals this past summer, coming back from two sets down to win three straight against the former world No. 1.
It was much the same story at the Rogers Cup quarterfinal in 2009 when Tsonga overcame two service breaks in the third set to prevail 7-6, 1-6, 7-6.
Tsonga's win completes the quarterfinal lineup for Friday. He'll face Spaniard Nicolas Almegra, who defeated Frenchman Richard Gasquet 7-6, 6-3.
Earlier in the evening, No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic star beat Croatian Marin Cilic 7-5, 6-2 Thursday to move on to the quarterfinals of the event that launched his drive to stardom four years ago.
Earlier in the evening in his first tournament as the world's No. 1 seed, Novak Djokovic star beat Croatian Marin Cilic 7-5, 6-2 Thursday to move on to the quarterfinals of the event that launched his drive to stardom four years ago.
Cilic's serve and groundstrokes were more powerful than Djokovic's in the first set, but the top-seeded player displayed more accurate returns and made fewer errors. Djokovic, who won the title in 2007, took the last two games of the set including a break against Cilic in the deciding game at Uniprix Stadium.
Cilic, a former world No. 9 player, was reluctant to test Djokovic at the net in the second set and was unable to match the superstar's skills on the baseline.
The match win was Djokovic's 50th of the season against just one loss, and the 24-year-old has vaulted to the top of the tennis world with a career-best eight titles including the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Twenty-five of his 49 wins have been on hard courts like the ones at Uniprix Stadium, but Djokovic said he hasn't felt entirely comfortable since taking a long layoff after Wimbledon.
"I didn't get any rhythm, I think, out of both (Rogers Cup) matches," he said.
"Conditions were quite a bit different than (Wednesday). A lot of wind involved.
"But I guess in the right moments I was trying to keep the ball in the court, make my opponent make an unforced error. I was just more patient."
Djokovic moves on to play Gael Monfils of France, who fought an entertaining battle against and Viktor Troicki of Serbia before prevailing 3-6, 7-6, 7-6.
Monfils did a little pop-and-lock dance step after he won the deciding point before a partisan crowd.
Earlier in the afternoon, Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic was the first player to advance to the quarterfinals, beating unseeded Croatian Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 7-6.
Berdych, the tournament's seventh seed, dominated his 6-foot-10 opponent in a match that lasted one hour 43 minutes. Berdych showed resilience in saving all four of the break points he faced. Heíll face Serbian Janko Tipsarevic in the quarters.
Berdych might have an easier-than-expected road to the final after the three other seeded players in his bracket were all knocked out.
No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal was upset by unseeded Croatian Ivan Dodig Wednesday night and fourth seed Andy Murray went down Tuesday to South African Kevin Anderson. Ninth seed Gilles Simon of France was also eliminated by qualifier Philipp Petzschner of Germany in the first round.
Playing on just over 12 hours' rest, Dodig couldn't recapture the strong play that had overwhelmed Nadal the previous night, losing 6-1, 6-4 Thursday to Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.
Anderson had suffered the same fate earlier in the day after playing giant killer versus Murray. The South African lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland.
On the doubles side, Canadian veteran Daniel Nestor of Toronto advanced to the quarterfinals with partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus. The No. 2-ranked duo defeated Juan Ignacio Chela and Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-4, 6-4.