Rafael Nadal bowed out of the ATP World Tour Finals on Thursday as for the second time in 48 hours, the Spaniard had no answer against an inspired opponent, this time in the imposing form of French powerhouse Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
While Roger Federer’s thrashing of Nadal was a masterful demonstration of the sport’s classical arts, Tsonga's 6-7, 4-6, 6-3 victory in the final match of Group B was a sustained barrage of heavy artillery that eventually overwhelmed the former world No. 1.Tsonga, 26, joined group winner Federer in the semifinals after the Swiss maintained his 100 per cent record with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 defeat of American Mardy Fish in a dead rubber.
Defeat extends mediocre season
Defeat extended Nadal’s mediocre record at the season-ender. In the five years he has qualified he has only made the final once, losing to Federer at the O2 Arena last year.
This year he never looked like adding the prestigious title to his 10 Grand Slams from the opening day when he laboured past tournament debutant Fish in three sets.
While Nadal was clearly disappointed with the level of his performance it would be harsh to take anything away from Tsonga who produced one of the best performances of his career to make the semis for the first time. Crunching huge groundstrokes off both wings and storming the net to pound down smashes and some silky volleys, Tsonga continually worried the Nadal serve without being able to engineer the break his play deserved.
Nadal hung on but Tsonga produced a superb tiebreak, sealing the set with an ace.
Tipsarevic downs Novak
London: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was left on the brink of elimination from the ATP World Tour Finals after a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 defeat to friend and compatriot Janko Tipsarevic at London's O2 Arena.
Following his roasting by David Ferrer earlier, Djokovic admitted he was in poor form but started brilliantly as he found his old shot-speed to take the first set without facing a break point. But the Serb made several unforced errors.
Djokovic must sweat on the result between Ferrer and Tomas Berdych with the game average set to decide who joins the Spaniard in the semis.
A win for Berdych could dump Djokovic out, with a Ferrer victory putting the Serb through. agencies