Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza: children caught up in the conflict

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Was the UN chief’s speech in Tel Aviv really a 'shameful message'?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France concerned about anti-Semitism

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online movement demands peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple aims to satisfy China's hunger for smartphones

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin? (part two)

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin?

Read more

  • Paris braced for new pro-Palestinian rally after clashes

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • Netherlands honours MH17 victims in day of mourning

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • Kerry arrives in Israel to push for Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

Sport

Monfils upsets Nadal to pave way for all-French Qatar Open final

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-01-06

Gael Monfils came back from 4-1 down in the second set of the Qatar Open on Friday to defeat top seed Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-4, paving the way for an all-French final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

REUTERS - Gael Monfils stormed back from 4-1 down in the second set to beat Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Qatar Open on Friday and set up an all-French final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga following Roger Federer’s withdrawal with a back injury.

Monfils, 25, was unfazed by Nadal’s 8-1 winning record against him and looked the hungrier player, especially in a mesmerising second set.
 
Nadal, stung from losing the opening set, surged into a 4-1 lead, and the match appeared to be heading to a decider.
 
Yet Monfils came again, making 18 consecutive first serves.  A long forehand from Nadal gave the gangly Frenchman two break points and he took the first with a stinging cross-court drive to make it 3-4.
 
Nadal, 25, had a chance to redeem himself, earning an immediate break opportunity with a volley winner from the net.
 
The top seed’s next return appeared out and Monfils paused, waiting for the call. When this did not come, the Frenchman clipped a shot over and a confused Nadal missed his.
 
Monfils went on to hold for 4-4 and Nadal still seemed preoccupied as he served again, slipping 40-0 down following two mistakes and another blistering forehand winner from the pumped-up Frenchman.
 
Monfils, who has slipped to 16th in the world from seventh in September, then drew the left-hander out wide and came to the net to play a volley winner and earn the chance to serve for the match.
 
The world number two saved two match points, but Monfils set up a third opportunity with a whipped winner down the line. A Nadal error then gave him the match.
 
“Against Rafa, you have to have a good (first serve) percentage,” said Monfils in an on-court interview. “I was very fast on court and I think I hit a couple of powerful shots. I feel great.”
 
The players’ speed around the court created many long rallies, yet serve remained dominant, with no break points in the opening five games.
 
Nadal then slipped when he came to the net while serving at 40-30. Off-balance, he could only put a cushioned volley wide.  The Spaniard then placed an angled forehand wide to give Monfils a break chance.
 
Nadal missed his first serve and after exchanging shots Monfils hit a searing forehand down the line to break, screaming in triumph as he took a 4-2 lead.
 
Serving for the set, Monfils fell 30-0 behind but recovered with two un-returnable serves and a flat backhand winner to give him a set point.
 
After missing the first with a wide forehand, Monfils launched a curling second serve away from Nadal and ambled to the net to put away a volley for a second set point.
 
He did not fail this time, dispatching an ace.
 
Monfils will now play his friend Tsonga, who received a bye into the final after Federer withdrew.
 
“It’s always tough to play against Jo because he’s really powerful,” said Monfils. “It’s tough to manipulate him from the baseline.”

Date created : 2012-01-06

  • TENNIS

    Nadal secures Davis Cup for Spain

    Read more

  • SPORT

    Federer wins record sixth ATP World Tour final

    Read more

  • TENNIS

    France's Tsonga to face Federer in World Tour final

    Read more

COMMENT(S)