Momentous | Novak Djokovic was certainly made to work for his place in the semi-finals by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, whose strength and power always makes him a formidable opponent. (Image | The Telegraph)

Most tennis fans in Britain tend to view the French Open as the “warm-up tournament” for Wimbledon. A chance for the sport’s big names to flex their muscles (literally in the case of Rafael Nadal) in pursuit of the holy grail. A first class tennis tournament? Surely not.

Or so it may have seemed. Yesterday’s action served up two enthralling matches featuring the world number one, Novak Djokovic (pictured) and six-time Wimbledon winner Roger Federer. Both these great champions will meet each other in the semi-finals, with the Serbian attempting to become only the third individual to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time.

Federer and Djokovic were each taken to five sets by their opponents yesterday, the Swiss taking five sets to dispatch Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine had taken a two set lead, but Federer fought back after losing a tie-break in the second set. Federer, who has only won the French Open once, back in 2009, will be appearing in his 31st Grand Slam semi-final.

Undeterred | Roger Federer recovered from two sets down to squeeze past Juan Martin del Potro at Roland-Garros for the seventh time in his career. (Image | Bleacher Report)

For Djokovic, meanwhile, it was certainly not plain sailing against Tsonga. The Frenchman rattled the world number one with his athleticism, but only after comprehensively losing the first set in little over 20 minutes. Successive sets for Tsonga (7-5, 7-5) appeared to incite nerves in Djokovic, who had looked so commanding early on. It took match point to spark the 2011 Wimbledon winner back into life, in what could be described a hostile audience: the crowd took to Tsonga, while Djokovic’s frustration earned him silence when he succeeded, and cheers for his opponent.

Narrowly coming through in the tie break, Djokovic was now in command, and dispatched Tsonga in the final set comphrehensively, to set up a clash with Federer. With only two days to recover for both players, it remains to be seen who will have suffered more from their exploits yesterday.

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