Four-time Australian Open winner Roger Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, looked for a while like he might join Williams on the sidelines. But Federer eked out a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3 win over 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a match that lasted 3 hours, 34 minutes.
Federer, who broke Tsonga in the fourth game of the deciding set, converted his fifth match point while serving after Tsonga saved four match points in the previous game. Federer, who advanced to the semifinals for the 10th consecutive year at Melbourne Park, will play U.S. Open champion Andy Murray on Friday.
"I thought he played very aggressive,'' Federer said of Tsonga. "I love those four-set or five-set thrillers and I was part of one tonight.''
Murray discounted comments in the British media that he was upset with an almost full schedule of day matches while Federer was given featured cooler night slots on Rod Laver Arena.
"The scheduling for me is part and parcel of playing in really any tennis tournament,'' Murray said. "It's tough to make the schedule perfect for every single player.''