Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori became the latest big names to crash out of this year's French Open yesterday in the quarter-finals. Federer slumped to a straight sets defeat to countryman Stan Wawrinka, while Nishikori battled hard before eventually succumbing to the home nation will that urged Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to glory. It leaves a somewhat unexpected semi-final pairing, with both men looking to reach their very first final at Roland Garros.

Tsonga survived five sets

Thirty-year-old Frenchman Tsonga is riding the crest of a wave at this year's tournament.

He seems to have channelled the enthusiasm of the partisan home crowd to good effect so far, with his defeat of Nishikori supplementing his earlier victory over Tomas Berdych. This time he also showed durability, as the Japanese number 5 seed pushed him all the way to the decisive final set, before the Swiss-based Tsonga finally took the match 6-1 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3.

Fourteenth-seeded Tsonga stormed into a two set lead, although his progress was halted for over half an hour, when the wind blew off a metal sheet from a giant video screen. Thankfully no major injuries resulted from what could have been a serious incident.

His Asian opponent is a renowned fighter and rallied to level the match by taking the next two sets, setting up a fitting climax.

He could not maintain the momentum in the final set though, enabling a clearly delighted Tsonga to celebrate his triumph by lying on his back on the red clay at the end.

Long wait for French men's winner

Much like Britain had to wait what seemed like an eternity for a home winner at Wimbledon, so too have the French been longing for their men to lift La Coupe des Mousquetaires (The Musketeers' Trophy).

It has been 32 years since their last success (the flamboyant Yannick Noah), but many will be dreaming of a repeat this year given the inspired form shown by Tsonga so far.

Wawrinka defeated Federer

Davis Cup colleagues Federer and Wawrinka have had several close tussles over recent years, with several false 'dawns' when it has seemed that the Swiss number two was about to take over the mantle from his more illustrious compatriot.

Whether this success for Wawrinka 6-4 6-3 7-6 finally marks such a turning point is hard to say, but it certainly put paid to Federer's chances of adding to his only previous French Open title victory. At 33 he remains competitive, but it was 2012 when he last won one of the majors at Wimbledon and that may still represent his best chance of adding to his 17 Grand Slam singles titles.

With a world ranking of number 8, 'Stan' is no slouch in the game and already has an Australian Open title to his name from 2014. He also regularly reaches the latter stages of the big tournaments and has earned a good living out of the game, with more than $15 million in prize money bolstering his bank account over the years.

He had never previously beaten Federer in a Grand Slam, losing all four of their previous meetings.

Fine margins

Wawrinka was the dominant force, holding his serve throughout the match. In a game of fine margins, Federer was the man to drop his serve instead, once in each of the opening two sets to drop behind on the scoreboard. The third set was even closer, but aided by some fortunate line calls in the tie-break, Wawrinka was the man to come out on top and clinch the match. He hailed his performance as "my best match on clay" afterwards, aptly summing up how little he had offered his opponent, chance wise.