Not since Yannick Noah 30 years ago has a home player lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires, but Tsonga showed he will be a tough man to beat with a thumping 7-5 6-3 6-3 victory over Federer yesterday to reach his first semi-final at Roland Garros.
Tsonga has always been capable of brilliance but he and coach Roger Rasheed appear to have added consistency to his game and he was simply too good for Federer.
The 31-year-old Swiss admitted: “I thought he played great today. He was in all areas better than me. That’s why the result was pretty clean.
“I think I struggled a little bit everywhere. To be honest, I’m pretty sad about the match and the way I played. But that’s how it goes.”
Tsonga will meet fourth seed David Ferrer in the semi-final, the only other man in the tournament who has not dropped a set, after he ended the run of Tommy Robredo with a 6-2 6-1 6-1 thrashing.
Tsonga rated yesterday’s win as among the best of his career.
The Frenchman said: “For sure, it’s going to be at the top because it’s here at Roland Garros, in France, on a big court with a lot of people, middle of the afternoon, and I just beat Roger Federer. ”
In the women’s singles, Serena Williams’ French Open quarter-final nightmares of the past briefly nearly came back to haunt her before she fought back to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The Russian had three chances to go 3-0 up in the deciding set but could not take them and they proved the key moments as Williams clinched a 6-1 3-6 6-3 victory to reach the semi-finals in Paris for the first time in a decade. Four times in the intervening years she has lost in the last eight.
Williams will face last year’s runner-up Sara Errani in the semi-final.
The Italian knocked out fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 7-6 for her first ever win over a top-five opponent at the 29th attempt.