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French Open 2012: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer Rally To Reach Men's Semifinals

Two of the top men's tennis players barely made it out of the 2012 French Open quarterfinals on Tuesday.

No. 1 Novak Djokovic came within one point of defeat against No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga four times, but won each point and pulled away in the final set for a 6-1, 5-7, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1 victory. With the home crowd behind him, the Frenchman Tsonga came so close to pulling the stunning upset, but Djokovic showed why he is the top seed. With the win, Djokovic is one step closer to winning his fourth straight Grand Slam — something that no men's player has done in 43 years.

He admitted he felt the pressure of the home crowd. From ESPN.com:

"If you're playing a top player, a home favorite, and you have a crowd that's supporting him, you have to face these things. Physically, we're all fit, all hitting the ball well. But mentally, it's just a matter of a point here, a point there. That's sport. The one that mentally pushes more in some moments -- and gets a bit lucky -- gets the win."

In the day's other men's quarterfinal, No. 3 Roger Federer lost the first two sets against No. 9 Juan Martin del Potro, but rallied for a 3-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-0, 6-3 win. Del Potro upset Federer in the 2009 U.S. Open final, but appeared to be more affected by his left knee, wrapped in tape, as Tuesday's match went along.

Nonetheless, both stars — Djokovic and Federer — earned their way into the semis.

For more updates on the 2012 French Open, please stay tuned to this StoryStream. For lots more on all things tennis, keep checking SB Nation's dedicated tennis hub.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.