Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rotterdam Update: Rafa Overcomes Tsonga, Ancic Still On Track With His Comeback

World number 1, Rafael Nadal, endured another three-set encounter in Rotterdam as he outlasted recently crowned Johannesburg champion, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4, in the quarterfinals on Friday. After being stretched to 3 sets in his previous two matches against, 17-year-old Grigor Dimitrov and Simone Bolelli, the top seed said that Friday's battle against Tsonga, was his best of the week:

"This was definitely my best match of the week... Tsonga just came from winning a tournament and was extremely tough. This was a very important win for me. I'm so glad to be in my first semi-final here."

Poor Jo!! Nadal does have that effect on people sometimes!!

Meanwhile, Mario Ancic continued his good form this week in the Netherlands, by following his earlier wins over Rainer Schuettler and 4th-seed, Gilles Simon, with a victory over Mikhail Youzhny in the quarters on Friday.

Ancic who has had a terrible 2 year span filled with illnesses and injuries is searching for his best form that saw him reach a career-high of number 7 in the world rankings, back in 2006.

"I really believe that it's all behind me now. It's now up to the hard work and the comeback. I'm full of confidence."

It's nice to know that the Croat, who reached the Zagreb final last week, is full of confidence especially that his next opponent is none other than second seed, Andy Murray, who got a free pass to the semis when Marc Gicquel retired during the 3rd set of their quarterfinal match on Friday.

The last match of the day saw the Slider-Man, Gael Monfils, ease past his French countryman, Julien Benneteau, 7-5, 6-1, to set up a semifinal against Nadal. Monfils, who is currently enjoying a career-best of # 12 in the rankings, should be looking forward to this match particularly after he managed to upset Nadal out of the Doha semifinals earlier this year. That was Monfils' first victory over Nadal in 4 attempts.

Am rooting for a Rafa-Ancic final... What do you think?!?!

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