Tennis  

Tsonga, Wozniacki survive scare, Nadal through

Rafael Nadal of Spain changes his head band during his men’s singles final match against Nick Kyrgios of Australia at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on October 8, 2017. NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP


Rafael Nadal powered into the third round with a straight set victory over Leonardo Mayer of Argentina in the day session. The second seeded woman, Caroline Wozniacki and French veteran, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga survived threats of upset.

The 21-year old player from Croatia, Jana Fett (ranked 119 in the world) won the first set 6-3 but the second seed rallied to take the second set 6-2. In the third set, Caroline lost her service game twice and her opponent stepped up to serve for the match, leading 5-1.

The score was 40-15 and the stadium crowd braced up for a major upset. On the first match-point, Fett missed her first serve and double-faulted twice to lose the game. It was downhill thereafter, as Wozniacki took the next six games for a come-back victory.

The highly talented southpaw from Canada, Denis Shapovalov won the frist set 6-3. Tsonga took the next two sets quickly and had the chance to close out the match in the fourth set which went into a tie break taken by the Canadian in the close scores of 7 points to 4. In the deciding fifth set, Denis served first and held.

Tsonga suffered a break of serve. Serving for the set and match in the ninth game, the Canadian was broken. With momentum shifted his way, Tsonga held serve to level at 5-all. Shapovalov lost the last two games. He will remember that match for a long time.

In the first set of their match in Road Laver Arena, Nadal broke Mayer’s serve in the fourth game and consolidated to lead 4-1 lead. The gap remained till the end of the set. In the second set, Mayer lost the opening game on his serve and Nadal jumped to a 2-0 lead. That singular break enabled Nadal clinch the set at 6-4. The lanky Argentinean regained his service rhythm and Nadal had problems with his deliveries off a sky high toss. Only in the fifth game was Leonardo extended to deuce. Nadal put up a titanic struggle to hold and level 3 games apiece.

Serving with new balls, Leonardo hammered three aces and clinched the game with a forced error on Nadal’s forehand. Nadal held serve and secured a break to lead 5-4 with the opportunity to serve for the match.

However, Mayer broke Nadal’s serve and held to lead 6-5. Nadal was ruthless in winning the twelfth game at love. The second seed took the opening point of the tiebreak but Mayer leveled at 1-all. After an exchange of service points, Nadal lead 4-2 at the change-over and won three points to set 7-6.In his career, only twice did Rafael lose any match in which he was leading two sets to love.

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Rafael Nadal
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