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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga hadn’t yet lost to Roger Federer in their 2011 Wimbledon quarter-final, but it appeared inevitable after he dropped the first two sets. The Swiss had never lost from two sets up in his 255 career Grand Slam matches.But on the back of what arguably remains Tsonga's best display of serving, he did the unthinkable. Landing well over 70 per cent of his first serves and only offering Federer a single break point throughout their lengthy clash, he fought back to unseat the six-time Wimbledon champion 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.“I served unbelievably. I’m the kind of player who likes these big moments, so I hope I will have some more,” Tsonga said afterwards. I felt so good on the court. I was quick. I was just perfect today. It was feeling like a dream.”The Frenchman’s runner-up showing at the 2008 Australian Open already proved that he could deliver his best tennis at the world’s biggest events. Inconsistency and injuries prevented him from building on that breakthrough run, but the 26-year-old remained a player that no one wanted to face. Tsonga’s attacking style is perfectly suited for grass and he felt emboldened by his decision that May to split with longtime coach Eric Winogradsky, opting for more ownership of his career.After dropping his opening service game against Federer and trailing 0-3 after seven minutes, Tsonga settled in and found his range. But while the Frenchman continued to comfortably hold serve, he was unable to assert himself in their baseline rallies.With little to lose after falling behind two sets, Tsonga charged the net whenever possible and attempted to hit winners from unlikely positions at the baseline. His bold gambles paid dividends as he cracked 63 winners to just 22 unforced errors on the day, with most of the winner tally coming in the final three sets.After another strong serve on match point led to Federer hitting a return long, Tsonga dropped to the ground in celebration. Federer graciously tipped his hat to the Frenchman afterwards and acknowledged there was little he could do against an opponent playing so well."He believed in shots that maybe you don't hit as often. But exactly when he needed them, he was able to pull them off,” Federer said. “When it got important, he went for it. It all worked out for him today.”Although Tsonga fell in the semi-finals to Novak Djokovic, his inspired run at the All England Club spurred him on to an outstanding second half of 2011. He picked up a pair of titles in Metz and Vienna and finished runner-up at the Rolex Paris Masters to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, where he defeated Rafael Nadal en route to the championship match.Federer would get his revenge that year, though. Although he fell to Tsonga again at the Coupe Rogers, the Swiss rebounded to defeat his rival four times in a two-month period. He dominated Tsonga in their US Open quarter-final clash, then scored another straight-sets victory in Paris before twice defeating the Frenchman at The O2, prevailing in round-robin play and an entertaining three-set final.

For all of their epic battles, one thing that the ATP Head2Head series between Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras lacks is five-set battles. But their 1993 Wimbledon quarter-final that started as a mismatch would end as a compelling affair that marked the first of only two five-set matches in their rivalry.Sampras withstood a fightback from defending champion Agassi to prevail 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4 in their debut grass-court meeting. Both of them earning the right to face each other in the last eight appeared unlikely 10 days earlier. Agassi struggled with tendonitis in his right wrist before the start of the tournament and Sampras dealt with intense pain in his right shoulder, but Agassi refused to make excuses in defeat.“The only time I’m devastated over a loss is when I don’t feel like I gave it everything, when I felt like there was something else I could have done. I’m not convinced I could have today,” Agassi said. “He turned out to be the better man in the end."Agassi admitted that he was “borderline embarrassed” in the first two sets as Sampras’ game plan worked perfectly. He blocked the defending champion’s serve back and frequently sliced his backhand, giving Agassi no pace to work with. “You’ve really got to make it a mental match with Pete, keep it close and take advantage of a few opportunities,” Agassi said. “But if you allow him to get up… He starts playing off confidence and his ability really shines at that point. It’s hard to stop.”Eager for more tennis, the already pro-Agassi crowd became boisterous as they tried to urge him back in the match. He obliged by beginning to gamble more on his returns as Sampras let his guard down slightly. As Sampras’ first-serve percentage dropped and the pain in his serving shoulder appeared to return, Agassi dictated more of their rallies and eventually brought the match to a fifth set.The medical timeout that Sampras took for shoulder treatment early in the deciding set did wonders in restoring his game. He broke Agassi at 2-2 and wasted no time serving out the match, firing three consecutive aces before advancing to his second consecutive semi-final at the All England Club.“The crowd was really pulling for Andre to come back because in the first couple of sets, I was dictating play,” Sampras said. "The third and fourth sets, he started serving much better… I’d like to think the crowd was pretty partial in the fifth. I hope that I have a couple of fans out there against Andre.”Buoyed by his victory, Sampras scored two more impressive wins against Boris Becker and Jim Courier to lift his maiden Wimbledon crown. It proved to be the start of his dominance at this event as he prevailed seven times in an eight-year stretch (1993-1995, 1997-2000), putting him only behind Roger Federer on the all-time list at this event.

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