PARIS — By Roger Federer's standards, defeat came early in the French Open. And it came quickly.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion lost Tuesday in the quarterfinals to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-5, 6-3, 6-3.
Federer was eliminated before the semifinals for the second time in the past three Grand Slam tournaments, but only the fifth time in the past nine years at a major event. Tsonga was responsible for two of the losses — he also beat Federer in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2011.
Serena Williams narrowly averted Federer's fate. She came from behind in the third set and advanced to the French Open semifinals for the first time since 2003 when she defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Williams had been beaten the last four times she reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals, most recently in 2010.