The sixth seed has flown under the radar in Paris so far largely because he has been completely untroubled and, unlike his opponent, reached the last eight without dropping a set.
Tsonga's confidence will have been further increased by Federer's struggles in the fourth round against another Frenchman, Gilles Simon, when he had to fight back from two sets to one down.
Federer has won nine of his 12 meetings with Tsonga but famously lost to the 28-year-old from two sets up in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2011.
Tsonga has also beaten Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at grand slams, but he knows, if he is to have a chance of winning the title in Paris, he will almost certainly have to beat more than one.
The Frenchman said: "Roger is playing well at the moment but I know I'm able to win against Roger.
"For me it's easy now. Everything is positive. I'm in the quarter-finals here in Roland Garros for the second time. I have nothing to lose. For me it's going to be something positive to play this quarter-final.
"Beating one (of the top three), I know that I'm able to do that. Beating two, well, for the time being, I have never done it. So that's the challenge. I say to myself that over a match I have always got an opportunity to win, no problem."
Tsonga's first taste of the last eight at Roland Garros came last year, when he held two match points against Djokovic only to lose in five.
He said: "Until the end of my days, I will have it in my mind. Unfortunately, of course, the end was tragic, if I can put it that way, but it's one of the major high points of my career."
Djokovic and Nadal reached the quarter-finals yesterday, with the seven-time champion finding some good form on his 27th birthday to beat Kei Nishikori in straight sets.
World number one Djokovic dropped his first set of the tournament but recovered to beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-4.
The 26-year-old was playing for the first time since learning of the death of his former coach and mentor, Jelena Gencic, in Serbia on Saturday.
Djokovic said: "I feel even more responsible now to go all the way in this tournament. I want to do it for her, also."
In the women's event, defending champion Maria Sharapova defeated Sloane Stephens and next meets former world number one Jelena Jankovic.
Top seed Williams takes on 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova while Agnieszka Radwanska faces Sara Errani.
In the other men's quarter-final, fourth seed David Ferrer meets fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo, who has fought back from two sets down in his last three matches.