It might be just the exhaustion of a long, and somewhat disappointing season for Rafael Nadal. Or maybe it’s something deeper. A lack of passion and drive that was evident in his thumping loss to Roger Federer on Tuesday and again last night, clashing with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Tsonga was having one of those days, with his forehand booming and his serve on point. Anything Nadal threw at him just didn’t work. Rafael Nadal, at this point of the season, doesn’t have that much to throw at anyone. I was little bit less passionate for the game probably, because I was a little bit more tired than usual. I wasn’t in the right way to compete. Frustration is not the right word for me. In your career you have moments up here, you have moments down here, you come back, you go down. And today is not my best moment.
Since winning the French Open in June, Nadal hasn’t won a tournament, losing in two Grand Slam finals to Novak Djokovic and to Andy Murray last month in the Tokyo final. His ego, confidence and game have taken a rough beating this year, and the year-end tournament, ending surprisingly soon for the world no.2, didn’t help either. It’s on to the Davis Cup for Nadal, a final against Argentina. He needs a good performance there badly so he can kick off 2012 the right way.
For Tsonga, it couldn’t have been any better - Tonight I just played, well, amazing tennis. I was really aggressive. I had a good percentage on winners. I put a lot of pressure on him today.
No matter who comes out of Group B, with David Ferrer already certain of his place in the Semi Final, it looks like Federer and Tsonga are favorites to meet again in the final.
Roger Federer didn’t have it easy against Mardy Fish, winning in three sets 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, but managed to remain perfect and qualify into the Semi Final from the top spot in the group.