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Tsonga Beats Nadal, Murray, Roddick advance

London, Jun 11 : Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France defeated an exhausted Rafael Nadal 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-1 in the quarterfinals at Queen's Club on Friday.Earlier, Andy Roddick eased past seventh-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-2

PTI [ Updated: June 11, 2011 14:31 IST ]
tsonga beats nadal murray roddick advance
tsonga beats nadal murray roddick advance

London, Jun 11 : Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France defeated an exhausted Rafael Nadal 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-1 in the quarterfinals at Queen's Club on Friday.


Earlier, Andy Roddick eased past seventh-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-2 to set up a semifinal against second-seeded Andy Murray, who received a walkover into the semifinals when Marin Cilic of Croatia withdrew with an ankle injury.

In a third-round match which had been suspended at one set all on Thursday, defending champion Sam Querrey was beaten 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 by Britain's James Ward, who went on to defeat Adrian Mannarino of France 6-2, 6-7 (14), 6-4.

The 217th-ranked Ward won on his eighth match point after Mannarino saved seven in the second set and will face Tsonga in his first ever ATP semifinal on Friday.

Tsonga fired 25 aces and kept Nadal off-balance with his powerful baseline game as well as his inspired net play.

The pair played just two points before rain interrupted the match, and despite the court being covered Nadal remained on his chair for several minutes, signing autographs before returning to the locker room.

The French Open champion then edged the opening set. The Spaniard fought off a break point in the sixth game, failed to convert three break points at 5-5 but then claimed the last five points of the tiebreaker.

After an exchange of breaks to start the second set Tsonga broke again to lead 5-4 and served out the set.

In the third, Nadal missed a critical forehand volley at the net on game point and the fifth-seeded Frenchman went on to break for 1-0. That inspired Tsonga and he dominated the remainder of the match.

Nadal, who made several uncharacteristic errors in the match, will now rest before he begins the defense of his Wimbledon title. The 25-year-old Spaniard won his sixth French Open title on Sunday and acknowledged that an early loss at Queen's may help his preparations for the third Grand Slam event of the year.

"Probably after losing the second set mentally I lost my concentration," Nadal said. "The negative thing is I lost. The positive thing is I have few days off and can stop a little bit mentally. I can be a little bit more relaxed, because every day I play with pressure."

Roddick stamped his authority on his quarterfinal quickly, breaking to lead 2-1 and earning a further break in the fifth game with a forehand pass.

The American continued to dominate the Spaniard in the second set, breaking again for 2-1 and holding for 3-1 before rain interrupted play.

When play continued after a break of an hour, 45 minutes, Roddick immediately broke again by forcing Verdasco to net a backhand volley.

Roddick failed to take advantage of two match points on Verdasco's serve but ended the contest in the next game with a second-serve ace on his fourth match point.

"My first rain delay of the year is out of the way," Roddick said.

Querrey's defeat came after his third-round match was suspended overnight at one-set all. When play resumed, Ward earned the only break of the third set to lead 4-3, and fought off a break point as he served out the match.

Ward was back on court later in the day and recovered from wasting seven match points in the second-set tiebreaker and 2-0 down in the deciding set to beat Mannarino, who is ranked 163 places higher than the British player at No. 54.

"Obviously I'm delighted to get through," Ward said. "I never felt like giving up -- even after the second set -- I hung in there and waited for the chances to come. A bit of luck at the end and I came through." AP

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