Tennis-Tsonga swirls past Troicki with Federer in his sights

PARIS, June 2 Sun Jun 2, 2013 4:39pm BST

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PARIS, June 2 (Reuters) - French sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga set up a potential clash with Roger Federer when he easily dispatched Serbian Viktor Troicki 6-3 6-3 6-3 to book his place in the French Open quarter-finals on Sunday.

Tsonga, the last Frenchman to reach a grand slam final at the 2008 Australian Open, has yet to drop a set at Roland Garros this year and sealed a straightforward win in one hour 45 minutes.

He will next take on either French 15th seed Gilles Simon or Swiss second seed Federer, whom he beat in the Wimbledon last-eight in 2011.

However, Federer has a 9-3 record against the Frenchman overall and Tsonga's over-reliance on his forehand could again be exposed.

Tsonga, one of three still on course to become the first Frenchman to win a grand slam title since Yannick Noah at Roland Garros in 1983, has matched last year's performance in Paris where he was knocked out in the quarters by Novak Djokovic after wasting four match points.

"It's great to win again in three sets but in the following round it is going to be dreadful," Tsonga told a courtside interviewer.

Asked who he would prefer to take on next, Tsonga said: "Playing Roger here, you can't dream better.

"But if Gilles goes through, it means there will be at least a Frenchman in the semi-finals."

Richard Gasquet, the seventh seed, is the other Frenchman left in the draw. He plays Swiss ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka on Monday.

On a windswept Court Philippe Chatrier, after dark clouds had eaten away the last bit of morning sun, Tsonga whizzed through the first set.

World number 57 Troicki upped the tempo in the second set but cracked in the seventh game when Tsonga caught him off guard with a flicked lob which the Serbian returned into the net.

Tsonga broke decisively in the sixth game of the third set with one of his 17 forehand winners and wrapped it up on his third match point before doing his trademark victory swirl on court. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Mark Meadows)

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