Stanislas Wawrinka pulled off a masterclass against Jo-Wilfreid Tsonga, beating him 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-2 at the Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday, potentially setting up a mouth-watering clash with Swiss No.2 Roger Federer in the semifinals.
The highly-anticipated quarterfinal between third-seeded Wawrinka and the 12th-seed Tsonga began on a great note, with neither man able to break the other in the opening set.
The ensuing tie-break, however, was one-way traffic as Wawrinka held four set-points and he converted the first with ease, giving him a vital advantage going into the second set.
While Tsonga had several chances to come back into the tie, each time he was on the verge of breaking the Swiss, Wawrinka would stave off his challenge in a match that lasted
After being stretched in the first round to a marathon five-setter Wawrinka has steadily improved as the rounds have progressed, while Tsonga has been made to suffer and perhaps the fatigue was showing as the players battled it out for a place in the semifinals.
To Tsonga’s credit, he broke Wawrinka in the seventh game of the second set, after some uncharacteristically sloppy play from the 2015 Australian Open champion.
Wawrinka, realising that he couldn't afford to give the Frenchman any breathing space broke him right back before reeling off the next three games to take the second set 6-4 in 41 minutes.
While many expected Tsonga to give up in the third set, he put up a fight, stretching Wawrinka in the opening game, coming close to pushing the US Open holder but eventually the Swiss prevailed, ensuring the tide remained firmly in his favour.
And when Wawrinka broke Tsonga to take a 2-0 lead in the third set, the writing was on the wall for Tsonga, who more than his own mistakes, was outdone by a man who is chasing his second Australian Open title.
A comprehensive victory for the fourth-seed and a warning shot for the winner of the Roger Federer-Mischa Zverev quarterfinal which is scheduled for later in the day, as Stan is a man on a mission.