FRANCE’S Jo-Wilfried Tsonga confirmed his place among the sport’s elite with an epic three-set win over Rafael Nadal to seal a spot in the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Tsonga was in inspirational form as he beat Nadal for only the third time in his career, recovering from the blow of having dropped the second set to win 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 and knock the former world No1 out of the tournament.
After losing a first set, that went with serve, on a tie break, Nadal relied on all of his battling qualities to take the second with a decisive break in the 10th game.
Tsonga, however, bounced back admirably and showed all his strength, and no shortage of subtlety at the net, to break Nadal three times in the third set to seal the win.
Earlier in the day Roger Federer defeated Mardy Fish in three sets to complete a clean sweep of his Group B opponents and send the American home without having registered a victory.
Defending champion Federer romped the first set for the loss of just one game, but was pegged back in the second, before closing out the match with typical ruthless efficiency to secure a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory.
“It’s a matter of trying to do the exact same thing knowing I don’t really need to win, but maybe because I know that somewhere you just don’t play the same way,” said Federer, who felt his failure to reach the same heights he found against Nadal in Tuesday’s magnificent success may have been down to the fact yesterday’s match was a dead rubber.