TORONTO – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the Rogers Cup on Sunday, beating second-seeded Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) for his fourth straight victory over a higher-seeded opponent.
The 13th-seeded Frenchman won his first ATP Tour title of the season and 11th overall. He beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic on Thursday, eighth-seeded Andy Murray on Friday and seventh-seeded Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday.
“I think for me it’s going to be a new motivation because just last year I always lost against those guys and it was really frustrating for me,” he said. “Then today a win against (Federer), it’s good for me, it’s good for my ambition and it’s good for my career.”
Tsonga improved to 5-11 against Federer.
“I’m working hard, my motivation came back,” said Tsonga, who has battled knee problems over the last two years. “I want to win, I want to play my best tennis on the court. And it happened today.”
Federer dropped to 2-5 in finals this season, with his victories coming in Dubai and Halle. The Swiss star made several uncharacteristic errors and had a hard time with Tsonga’s powerful serve and ground strokes.
“I fought, I mixed it up and I was hoping to sort of sneak in a set and then maybe he would get a bit nervous or maybe would play a bad game,” Federer said. “But I just couldn’t create enough opportunities. So I think he deserved to win at the end of the day. It was pretty simple, in my opinion.”
In a week of superb performances, Tsonga may have saved his best for last, the second-seeded Federer was unable to manage a single break chance the entire match.
Federer did not allow Tsonga many break opportunities himself but the one he did, in the first set, was all the Frenchman needed converting the chance to clinch the set and a 1-0 lead.
Play remained tight in the second with no break points, the set going to a tie-break won by Tsonga, who took four straight points after the breaker had been deadlocked at 3-3
“What is achieved is achieved and I will just continue on this way, continue to work hard,” said Tsonga, when asked about his U.S. Open chances. “This win gives me a lot of hope for the rest of the year, of course.”
Radwanska tops Venus
Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Venus Williams 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday to win the Rogers Cup women’s title.
The third-seeded Radwanska, the first Rogers Cup champion from Poland, picked up her first tournament victory of the year and the $441,000 winner’s prize. The 34-year-old Williams earned $220,000.
The 25-year-old Radwanska used her relentless baseline game to dominate a tired-looking Williams, who was coming off an emotional, three-set victory over her top-ranked sister Serena Williams in a semifinal on Saturday.
“I think I was playing much better every match,” Radwanska said. “I didn’t start that well from my first match, but every match was much better.
“That’s why I think I’m sitting right here now with you (reporters). I was feeling the balls much better.”
Radwanska, ranked fifth in the world to Williams’ 26th, posted her first Rogers Cup win after twice reaching the semifinals. It was her first tournament victory since 2013 at Seoul.
Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam winner, had an excellent week that will put her back into the world top-20 starting Monday. It included wins over sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber and 14th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro.
She fell short in her bid to become the event’s oldest champion. Martina Navratilova won 52 days short of her 33rd birthday in 1989.
“It’s been a really long week,” Williams said. “I played like six matches in a row.”