MELBOURNE, Australia -- Four-time Australian Open winner Roger Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, looked for a while like he might join Serena Williams on the sidelines. But Federer eked out a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3 win over 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in an Australian Open quarterfinal match Wednesday that lasted 3 hours, 34 minutes.
Federer, who broke Tsonga in the fourth game of the deciding set, converted his fifth match point while serving after Tsonga saved four match points in the previous game. Federer, who advanced to the semifinals for the 10th consecutive year at Melbourne Park, will play U.S. Open champion Andy Murray on Friday.
"I thought he played very aggressive," Federer said of Tsonga. "I love those four-set or five-set thrillers and I was part of one tonight."When asked after the match why he feels it's so tough for him to beat the top players, a disappointed Tsonga was at a loss. "To be honest, I have no idea. You know, if you have some advice for me, I will take it because I don't know. I don't know what is the difference," he said.
Tsonga might find success again with a new coach. After going more than a year without a coach, the Frenchman hired Roger Rasheed -- the former coach of Gael Monfils and Lleyton Hewitt -- a few months ago and said the impact has been immediate. "He's giving me an extra motivation," Tsonga said. "It's great because he's always positive. He wants maybe more than me to win. He's incredible."
Federer was narrowly in front for most of the match but Tsonga stayed in touch with some powerful groundstrokes and a big serve.
The 25-year-old Murray had his service broken for only the second time while serving for the match. But he broke back immediately to clinch the quarterfinal victory.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.