Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Roger Federer battled for the chance to take home their first ATP Masters 1000 title of the year.
From Indian Wells 2010 through Rome 2014, 41 ATP Masters 1000 events were held.
Of those, only five were won by someone besides a member of the “Big 4” (Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal).
One of the players to reach a championship match over that time was Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who made the final in Paris in 2011. By the start of 2014, though, the Frenchman was working his way back into shape, having been plagued by injury in late 2013. Toronto appeared to be a tough tournament to reach a second championship match in 2014.
After getting by a couple of his compatriots in the first two rounds, the No. 13 seed eased past two-time champion Djokovic in the round of 16. Next up was Murray, whom he beat in three sets, followed by a straight-sets win over Grigor Dimitrov in the semis. This put Tsonga in his first ATP Masters 1000 final since Paris 2011, when he lost to Federer in straight sets.
A rematch was in store as Federer advanced to the final. The No. 2 seed—playing his first North American hard-court tournament of the summer—was pushed to three sets in the third round and quarterfinals by Marin Cilic and David Ferrer, respectively, but breezed through his other two matches.
In 2014, it was Federer who came out on top in his two matches against Tsonga, dropping one set along the way. The matchup was never a given for Federer, though, as, in the past, Tsonga had managed to defeat Federer on grass, clay and hard courts.
Both players started off strong, particularly on their own service games. Federer was unable to record even one break point in the opening frame. Tsonga got his own opportunity to crack the Federer serve the next game—and it was at a most crucial moment, giving the Frenchman the opening set, 7-5.
In the second set, it was more of the same, except Tsonga was turning up the heat on his return game. Federer had to fight off five break points and an eventual match point at 4-5. Tsonga was unable to convert, and the two found themselves in a tiebreak. After the first six points, the score was tied at 3-3. From there, Tsonga captured the next four points t take his second career ATP Masters 1000 title after Paris 2008.
In 20 career finals, this was Tsonga’s first in North America.
Three of Tsonga’s four wins against Federer in ATP Masters 1000 play have come in Canada (2009, 2011 and 2014).
This was Federer’s fourth consecutive loss in a ATP Masters 1000 final.