Tsonga trumps Nadal to reach semis
Originally published on: 25/11/11 00:08
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga booked his place in the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with a 7-6(2) 4-6 6-3 victory over 2010 finalist Rafael Nadal.
The Frenchman, who had lost six of his last eight battles with the world No.2, seemed to have the edge on the Spaniard from the outset, capitalsing on too many short balls from Nadal, firing winner after winner and approaching the net at every opportunity.
“I just played well. I mean, I was really aggressive,” said Tsonga, who sent down 46 winners. “I had a good percentage of winners. I put a lot of pressure on him today.”
Tsonga held serve more comfortably for much of the early exchanges and when the first set went to a tiebreak, the 26 year old seized his chance, pulling away to clinch the first set.
Nadal secured the first break of the match early in the second, one that proved enough to force a decider, but the tiring Mallorcan was broken three times in the final set as Tsonga won Nadal’s service game to love at 5-3 to round out victory in two hours and 42 minutes.
“I think I didn’t play well tonight,” conceded Nadal. “The first two sets I didn’t play bad, but I didn’t play well, and to win these kind of matches you have to play well.”
The reigning Roland Garros, Monte Carlo and Barcelona champion, who finishes the year with less than five titles to his name for the first time since 2004, will return to his favourite clay surface for the upcoming Davis Cup final in Seville in a bid to end his season on a high.
“On clay I have more time to think,” admitted Nadal. “The movements are a little bit easier for me. I will be try my best every day to try to win the Davis Cup for my country.”