Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga into ATP Doha 2012 Semis

Shane LambertAnalyst IIJanuary 5, 2012

Rafael Nadal
Rafael NadalIan Walton/Getty Images

The 2012 ATP Doha semifinals are scheduled for Friday, and the tournament has pretty much gone to form so far. The 250-level event will feature the top four seeds in the tournament semifinals, as Roger Federer faces Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Rafael Nadal faces Gael Monfils.

Neither Nadal, Tsonga nor Monfils suffered much of a setback in the quarters, as each player won their Thursday match in straight sets. Federer, however, had some trouble with his quarterfinal opponent, as Andreas Seppi took a set off of the Swiss Maestro before losing in three sets 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

It was the first time in seven previous matches that Seppi was able to take a set off of Federer and the world No. 3 might need to play better against his semifinal opponent in order to advance back to the Doha championship.

Federer's semifinal is against an increasingly-familiar opponent in Tsonga. The two players met no less than eight times last season, and Federer holds a significant career head to head advantage over the Frenchman at 8-3. That record includes four straight victories for Federer, the most recent being the championship match from the ATP World Tour Finals back in November.

Nadal also has a very favorable matchup when the head to head records are considered. The world No. 2 is 8-1 lifetime against Monfils, however, the one time that the French player was able to beat Nadal was at ATP Doha, back in 2009. 

Monfils was efficient in the quarters as he took out Viktor Troicki in 72 minutes, 6-2, 6-3.

While most fans will be hoping for a "Fedal" final in Doha, both French players are dangerous enough that you have to think that at least one will act as a spoiler.

The order of play for Friday is below, including the doubles final:

CENTER COURT start 4:30 pm

[3] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs [2] Roger Federer (SUI) 
[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs [4] Gael Monfils (FRA) 
C Kas (GER) / P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs F Polasek (SVK) / L Rosol (CZE)