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Federer Praises 'Deserving' Tsonga

Montreal, Canada

Federer© Getty ImagesFederer dropped to 4-3 against Tsonga after Thursday's loss.

World No. 3 Roger Federer paid tribute to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s performance Thursday in Montreal, after the No. 13 seed upset the two-time Rogers Cup titlist 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1 in a third-round contest.

The victory marked Tsonga’s second straight win against the Swiss; he rallied from two sets down to hand Federer his first Grand Slam loss with a two-sets-to-love lead in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Tsonga defeated Federer in the quarter-finals two years ago at the Rogers Cup in a surprising comeback, as Federer blew a 5-1 third set lead to fall 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(3). Federer said he lost the match just as much as the Frenchman won it. But the 17-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion felt differently in defeat Thursday, praising Tsonga’s play and execution. “Two years ago he didn't really deserve the victory. I believe he played a lot better today, and he deserved it today,” assessed Federer.

“Two years ago I think he was lucky to pull out the win. Tonight he played well and he played extraordinary shots as we know he can do. I was not able to do that.”

Federer says he wasn’t shocked by Thursday’s result, given his recent loss to Tsonga at the All England Club. “He beat me at Wimbledon… so I don't know how much of a surprise it is,” said Federer. “He's playing well. I thought if he was going to play well again, me not at my best, he could do it again. It's not like he's beating me the first time.”

The Swiss is keeping his focus short term, and will practise again in Montreal before heading to the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, where he is the defending champion. “For the time being, the focus is here, not elsewhere,” Federer said.

“I played two matches. I feel good physically. New York is in one month. It's far away. If you want to talk about the US Open, I can tell you I feel good mentally and I'm playing well, if that's the goal for everybody else, but it's not mine right now.”

Federer is still looking for his second title of the year, after starting his season by winning the ATP World Tour 250 event in Doha (d. Davydenko).

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