Nadal crashes out of ATP World Tour Finals


The world no. 2 is now looking to bounce back in 2012 after being beaten by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.


By Nicolas Atkin

A despondent Rafael Nadal is looking to bounce back in 2012 after crashing out of the ATP World Tour Finals.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga disposed of the Spaniard in three sets at the o2 Arena to send the world No. 2 packing.

The Frenchman triumphed 7-6 4-6 6-3 to hand Nadal his second consecutive loss in London, capping off an inconsistent year for the former Wimbledon champion.

Nadal said: “I know the only way to change the situation is to work more, think more about tennis and do everything in the right shape.”

After labouring to victory over Mardy Fish, Nadal was swept aside by Roger Federer in straight sets, taking just an hour.

He said: “This end of the year wasn’t easy for me – that’s hard to accept. But at the same time that’s given me a goal for the beginning of 2012.”

After regaining his French Open crown at Roland Garros in June, Nadal was second best to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon and the US Open.

The Serbian replaced Nadal at the top of the ATP world rankings and defeated him in all six of their meetings in 2011.

“This year was a tough year for me,” said Nadal. “I think it was positive for moments, but at the same time it was hard for moments.”

“I didn’t have big expectations for this tournament,” continued Nadal.

“Now is the moment to analyze a little bit more what I did good, what I did bad, and for sure know what I have to practice for the next month.”

Tsonga took the first set by tiebreak before Nadal battled back to level the match, but ultimately his exertions throughout the season caught up with him.

Nadal said: “The first two sets I didn’t play bad, but I didn’t play well, and to win these kind of matches you have to play well.”

He added: “[Tsonga’s] a dangerous player. It’s not easy to play against him. You have to do something else more, and I didn’t.          

“Best of luck for him. Congratulations to Jo, he deserved it more than me.”

“I was a little bit more tired than usual,” said Nadal. “But to compete I wasn’t in the right way.

“We can find excuses, we can find problems, but it is not the moment to say that.” 

The victory took Tsonga through to the semi-finals after he beat Mardy Fish 7-6 6-1 on Tuesday.

Tsonga said: “I was really aggressive.  I had a good percentage of winners.  I put a lot of pressure on him today.”

The Frenchman will play either Djokovic, Tomas Berdych or Janko Tipsarevic, but is unconcerned about the identity of his opponent.

He said: “For me it’s not a problem. I will know tomorrow and then I will think about my match after that.

“For the moment I just need rest, and enjoy this victory today.”

Although Nadal exited earlier than expected, he’s still proud to have taken part in the end-of-season showcase.

He said: “’Frustration’ is not the right word for me – I’m happy, I qualified No. 2 of the world for the World Tour Finals.

“I am here playing in a fantastic stadium.  I never dreamed about that if you tell me 15 years before.

“In your career you have moments here, you come back, you go down.  And today is not my best moment.”

Nadal plays in Spain’s Davis Cup Final against Argentina next month, before the Australian Open begins on January 16.

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