Tsonga stuns Federer to reach semis

Updated 05 June 2013
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Tsonga stuns Federer to reach semis

PARIS: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga sent Roger Federer crashing out of the French Open quarterfinals yesterday to take a step closer to ending France’s 30-year wait for a men’s champion at Roland Garros.
Sixth-seed Tsonga swept to a 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 triumph to reach his first semifinal in Paris and first by a home player since Gael Monfils in 2008.
The 28-year-old will tackle Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer for a place in Sunday’s final.
Victory also helped wipe out the misery of his quarterfinal in Paris last year where he had four match points over Novak Djokovic and lost in five sets.
“It’s extraordinary to be here and to have won,” said Tsonga, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of Yannick Noah, France’s last men’s champion in Paris in 1983.
“I never dreamt of this moment. Today was my moment against a champion who has won everything.
“I didn’t think I would get this far without losing a set. But Ferrer has not lost a set as well, he’s in great form.” Federer, in his 36th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal, was bidding to win a record 58th career match at Roland Garros and reach his 34th semi-final at a major.
Ferrer reached the semifinals for the second successive year with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 win over compatriot Tommy Robredo.
Ferrer won in just one hour and 35 minutes to lift his series to seven wins for two losses against his 32nd-ranked rival as the 31-year-old continued a fine run of form which has seen him reach the last four without dropping a set.
Robredo, also 31, had by contrast spent five hours more on court — including three consecutive five-setters — as he missed out on a first appearance in a Grand Slam semi-final.
Robredo, playing in his fifth Roland Garros quarter-final, reached the last eight by becoming the first man since Henri Cochet at Wimbledon in 1927 to win three successive rounds from two sets to love down.

Serena on course

World No. 1 Serena Williams revealed a sweet-toothed recipe is aiding her quest for a first French Open crown in 11 years after reaching the semifinals with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over unseeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Her secret? Chocolate and macaroons.
The 31-year-old laughed as she contemplated a first appearance in the last four at Roland Garros since 2003, since when she has endured four quarterfinal exits and also a first round humiliation 12 months ago.
Asked the reason behind her renaissance on the slow red clay she said: “I guess (I’m) pretty fit. I had some chocolate yesterday. And the day before — and the day before and the day before.
“I usually don’t like chocolate. For whatever reason I wanted some chocolate with caramel. Then I wanted a macaroon. That’s my weakness, macaroons. And I love chips.” Victory extended Williams’ winning streak to 29 matches as she moved into a semifinal clash against Italian fifth seed Sara Errani, the runner-up to Maria Sharapova last year.
Errani reached the semifinals with a 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) win over Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.


LIVE: Spain 1-1 Morocco - Spain strike back after early Khalid Boutaïb goal

Updated 5 min 9 sec ago
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LIVE: Spain 1-1 Morocco - Spain strike back after early Khalid Boutaïb goal

10.03PM:  A good start to the second period for Morocco, once again Spain are half asleep in defence and the Atlas Lions are seeing a lot of the ball. That results in Pique handling the ball, for some reason the ref does not see the infringment and play continues. Good signs, though, for the North Africans. 

SECOND-HALF STARTS:  A key 45 minutes coming up here for Spain and Morocco. Spain know they have to win to get Russia in the next round, not an easy task but an easier one than Uruguay who they will face if they finish second. Morocco will want to finish the tournament with a result. They have played better thatn their results so far and will want to avoid three straight defeats. 

HALF-TIME: A mixed half for Morocco - they are creating chances and causing Spain problems in attack, But when without the ball they are under constant pressure, as the three yellow cards illustrate. Can they keep out Iniesta and Co. in the next 45 minutes? As it stands both Portugal and Spain are going thought, with Portugal beating Iran 1-0. A crucial next half coming up. 

SPAIN STRIKE: Iniesta and Isco celebrate the much-deserved equalizer. 

9.42PM: They may have been defending for long periods of this half, but they have always been comfortable on the ball and when they have got the chance to attack they have. A very well-worked move down the left ends with Ziyech having a decent shot from outside the box. They are doing themselves and their fans proud here. 

HISTORY MAKER: Take a bow Boutaib! 

 

 

9.33PM: Busquets has a great chance for Spain but heads wide from a corner. The Spainish are trying to turn the screw here, it's important Morocco get to half-time still level or you worry Spain may run away with it. Important nxt 10 minutes coming up. 

9.30PM: Spain, as expected, are seeing alot of the ball, while Morocco are seeing several yellow cards. The Morocco captain Moubarak Boussoufa rowing with the ref makes him the third Atlas Lion to go into the book — it's looking unlikely that Morocco will end this one with 11.

BRILLIANT BOUTAIB: The moment the Moroccan striker shocks Spain

9.23PM ANOTHER GREAT CHANCE FOR MOROCCO: Schoolboy defending by Spain gifts Boutaib another clear run-in on goal, De Gea does brilliantly to save and spare his side's blushes. Spain are being very adventurous here, there will be more chances you fancy for the Atlas Lions. 

9.17PM GOAL FOR SPAIN: That goal has given Spain a wake-up call. They come straight back. Iniesta atones for his mistake with a neat interchange with Diego Costa, before pulling back for Isco to finish from close range. Lovely goal.

9.12PM GOAL FOR MOROCCO!  Two of Spain's most experience players, Sergio Ramos and Andres Iniesta, both dithered on teh halfway line gifting the ball to Khalid Boutaïb who had a clean run in on goal. If he was nervous he didn't show it as he coolly slotted home past David de Gea. What a response! 

9.05PM: It has been a bright star for Spain, they are definitely not taking Morocco lightly. The Noerth Africans are chaing shadows at the moment. 

KICK-OFF: We're under way in Kaliningrad...

9.00PM: Should they lose this match, it will be only the second time Morocco have lost all of their World Cup group matches in a single campaign, having previously done so in 1994.

Whereas Spain have won their final group game in each of the last eight World Cup tournaments, a run stretching back to 1986.

8:50PM: Such is the support for the Atlas Lions in the stadium that is is almost like a home game. 

 

 

8:40PM: Morocco might be out, but that has not prevented plenty of their supporters showing up here in Kaliningrad. 

8:35PM: Starting line-ups...

Spain:
David De Gea; Dani Carvajal, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta; Isco, Thiago Alcantara, David Silva; Diego Costa
Coach: Fernando Hierro (ESP)

Morocco:
Monir El-Kajoui; Achraf Hakimi, Manuel Da Costa, Ghanem Saiss, Nabil Dirar; Noureddine Amrabat, Mbark Boussoufa, Karim El-Ahmadi, Younes Belhanda, Hakim Ziyach; Khalid Boutaib
Coach: Herve Renard (FRA)

Tonight's referee is Ravshan Irmatov from Uzbekistan.

8.30PM: So, after the dramatic late winner for Saudi Arabia in Group A, we move our attention to Morocco's final game of the 2018 World Cup. The Atlas Lions cannot progress, but could make like difficult for the former world champions Spain. The Spanish know nothing but a win will guarantee their progress at this tournament, and have named a strong side in their quest to get through.

Kick off is 20:00 KSA time.