blimey! tsonga stuns nadal

Posted on January 24, 2008

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Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has done it again, continuing on his extraordinary run in the Australian Open by upsetting world number two Rafael Nadal in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

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(photo by The Age) 

In a superb display of flawless serving (17 aces), fearless net play and blistering winners (49 versus 13 from Nadal), the unseeded Tsonga booked himself a berth in the finals, awaiting either Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic’s arrival on Sunday.

Through the 117 minute match, Tsonga stayed unruffled and coolly threw one puzzle after another at Nadal, who could find no answer and lost his serve right at the start. Conversely, Tsonga’s serve was so impregnable that Nadal could only find his first break opportunity in the second set but failed to convert. From there, the Frenchman did not give the Spaniard much chance, clinging on to his serve and further threatened Nadal’s.

Prior to this match, Nadal had not dropped a single set in the tournament. But in a stunning change in this match, Nadal was made to look like the unseeded player, often frustrated and even angry. No one has beaten Nadal in this manner, until Tsonga breezed along, pulverized Nadal into submission and shook up the tennis world.

“Just amazing… unbelievable… nothing could stop me today,” the 22-year-old Tsonga told the press after the match. “I tried to hit everything and everything went in, so… what can I say?”

Will Tsonga, the 38th-ranked player in the world, go all the way and bring the Australian Open crown home?

Don’t be surprised if he does.

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