Unseeded Tsonga Crushes Nadal

French phenom roars into Australian Open final in straight set upset
By Chip Bayers,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2008 4:42 PM CST
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France returns to Spain's Rafael Nadal in a Men's singles semi final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008. (AP Photo/Andrew...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – ESPN's Bonnie Ford called it the "Tsonga Tsunami": a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 wipeout of world #2 Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open semifinals which stunned the tennis world Thursday in Melbourne. Using a wide array of shots to score winners from everywhere on the court, Tsonga made Nadal -whose game is built on strength and speed - look weak and slow throughout the night.

"I felt like I couldn't do anything wrong, like I wasn't going to make any mistakes, like I could put all the strength I wanted into the ball and I wasn't going to blow it," Tsonga told the French-speaking media after the match. In his postmatch press conference, a humbled Nadal wouldn't call Tsonga "lucky," - but did say his performance "is not his real level. Sure, he can play like this, but not every week!"