Saturday, August 15, 2009

Montreal Masters: Tsonga shocks Federer, Del Potro crushes Rafa

The top eight seeds faced off in the Montreal Masters quarterfinals last night, and the only top 4 survivor was third-seeded, Andy Murray. Meanwhile, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were all upset by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin Del Potro and Andy Roddick respectively.

It was a weird night for me especially when I got up during the Federer-Tsonga match when the Swiss was up 6-7, 6-1, 5-1, only to return and find the Frenchman delivering a major shocker by turning around the deciding set against the ultimate match closer, Federer, and winning the match 7-6, 1-6, 7-6. I know what you're thinking, why get up when there's supposedly only one more game to go, but I was at a dinner party and food simply beckoned!!!

"It happens in tennis, it's never over until it's over and it showed today."

"I think I should have won the first and he completely lost his game for an hour there."

'That's what Jo does. He doesn't make a return for three hours, then he puts in a few and then all of a sudden he's back in the match."

"I never should have allowed it but it did happen." --Federer after losing to Tsonga in the Montreal quarters

When asked what he is looking to improve for in Cincinnati, Federer said:

Closing out a match like that.
(laughter.)

So compared to the rest of the matches, Federer's loss was definitely what shocked me the most, since I never really expected Nadal to beat an in-form Del Potro. The no-longer defending champion, who has been sidelined with an injury since last May, lost to Del Potro for the second time this year in straight sets, but assured his fans he was feeling well and happy with his performance after testing his knees. The Spaniard squandered a 5-2 lead in the first set tie-breaker, something I'm sure will be avoided in the future with more matchplay.

"I am back.. lost... but happy. Maybe the first time really happy after a loss. Today I travel to Cincinnati." --Rafael Nadal through his Facebook fan page, after losing to Juan Martin Del Potro in the Montreal quarterfinals.

"I have a good sensation. I know since many years, Rafa. I’m happy to beat one more time, but I’m happy to see him in the court fighting until the final. You know, is very good for me and for everyone to see his comeback." --A classy JMDP speaks after beating Rafa.

World number 5, Andy Roddick, displayed yet another solid performance, as he dispatched Djokovic in straights, however the match wasn't as straight forward as one might assume. Djokovic showed lapses of concentration (and some terrible serving) in between a stray of some ruthlessly placed forehands, while Roddick showed his best when it mattered the most, to seal a 6-4, 7-6 win over the world number 4.

Q. Would you like to proclaim yourself the real No. 4?

No. Rankings don’t lie.

Q. Did you know what to expect of yourself coming off of Wimbledon? How has it been compared to what you expected?

You know, I’ve certainly been nothing if not resilient in my career, and you know, I don’t think there’s a day where I, even after Wimbledon, where I resent playing tennis. I really enjoy what I do. So getting back out on court is never really an issue with me.

Q. If you’re playing Rafa, are you curious what his form will be? And a few words on Rafa.

If he beats Del Potro tonight I’m not worried about what his form is. (laughter.)

--Snippets from Roddick's post-match presser.

The semifinals on Saturday will be Murray against Tsonga (1-1 H2H), followed by a rematch of last week's Washington final between Roddick and Del Potro (Del Potro leads 2-0).

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