If you can beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon, as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did in 2011, you might feel you could beat him anywhere, especially if you were returning as well as the big Frenchman did on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday night.
But, no, Federer in 2013 is embarking on another campaign looking as sharp, as keen and as dangerous as ever and came through a big battle that got better the longer it lasted 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3.
It was Federer's 33rd appearance in a Grand Slam semifinal and the 10th consecutive year that has seen him reach the last four or better at Melbourne Park.
Even so, it was evident from the start that Federer wasn't timing the ball with quite the same sweet precision that he had against Milos Raonic and Bernard Tomic in earlier rounds. But then this was heavyweight opposition of a different caliber, a former Australian Open finalist who can disrupt anyone's rhythm with his pounding serves and athletic court coverage.
"It was extremely tough out there," ...