Tennis

Nadal leads Spain into final

2011-09-18 16:17
Rafael Nadal (File)

Cordoba - Rafael Nadal put Spain into the Davis Cup final after demolishing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-0, 6-2, 6-4 for an insurmountable 3-1 lead against France in their semifinal series.

Nadal complained of fatigue coming into the series but showed no symptoms against the 10th-ranked Frenchman on the outdoor clay at Cordoba's bullring to give the hosts a chance at a third title in four years.

Tsonga replaced Gilles Simon for the reverse singles match after an impressive doubles victory but was frustrated by 50 unforced errors, especially a misfiring backhand as France won just 16 games over three singles matches.

Spain will either host Argentina in the Dec. 2-4 final. Argentina defeated Serbia on Sunday.

Tsonga's erratic play against a player who has won 32 titles on clay left little doubt over the result as Nadal served out the victory in 2 hours, 17 minutes when Tsonga shot wide.

Nadal, who never faced a break point, is now 14-0 on clay and 18-1 in Davis Cup singles play, the six-time French Open champion's lone defeat coming on his debut in 2004. Nadal was a member of three of Spain's four title-winning teams and leads it into its sixth final since 2000 and eighth overall.

Nadal has complained about the overcrowded tennis calendar sapping his stamina as he raced from his US Open final defeat to Novak Djokovic in New York on Monday to rout Richard Gasquet on Friday. But on Sunday, Nadal was energised and playing all of Tsonga's shots except for the many that landed out as he scored nearly twice as many points as his opponent, while hitting just eight unforced errors.

Tsonga started with an ace but Nadal closed that first game with the first of six break points to ignite the boisterous crowd, which launched into chants of "Torero" (Bullfighter) throughout the afternoon at the Los Califas bullring that is normally filled by bullfighting aficionados.

Nadal clinched three break points in the first set after Tsonga sent a backhand into the net, double-faulted and finally sent a backhand wide.

Tsonga switched to serve-and-volley with some success as both players held serve to start the second set until Tsonga hit a forehand long while facing a triple-break point in the fifth game. Nadal was ahead and broke again in the seventh game when his opponent sent another backhand wide.

Nadal closed out the set by hitting a forehand down the line for one of 21 winners on the afternoon, when the temperature dropped slightly from previous days to 30 degrees Celsius (86 F).

Tsonga managed to hold until the seventh game of the final set when he raced forward to smash into the net to give Nadal a double-break opportunity. The second-ranked Spaniard converted his final break when the Frenchman volleyed his backhand wide.

In a meaningless fifth singles match, David Ferrer was scheduled to play Richard Gasquet.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Navratilova ties the knot

2014-12-22 14:22

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.