Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 12th 2013 Contents A64
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, October 12, 2013
SHANGHAI---Rafael Nadal and
Novak Djokovic overcame tough
challenges in their quarterfinals
at the Shanghai Masters yester-
day and moved a step closer to a
possible showdown in the final.
Top-ranked Nadal saved three
set points and finally closed out a
20-minute tiebreak in the first set
against Switzerland s Stanislas
Wawrinka before winning 7-6 (10),
Djokovic, the defending cham-
pion, needed nearly 2 1/2 hours to
rally past France s Gael Monfils 6-
7 (4), 6-2, 6-4.
Djokovic and Nadal improved
to a combined 20-0 record against
Their semifinal opponents had
much easier matches. Jo-Wilfried
Tsonga defeated Florian Mayer 6-
2, 6-3, and Juan Martin del Potro
advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 win over
Tsonga next plays Djokovic,
while del Potro meets Nadal.
If Djokovic and Nadal do meet
in the final, it would be their 39th
professional matchup---and second
in as many weeks. Djokovic defeat-
ed Nadal last Sunday in the China
Open final in Beijing after the
Spaniard was assured of retaking
the No 1 ranking from him.
Nadal had a lengthy first set
against Wawrinka---a player who
had never taken a set off him in
After fending off three set points
by Wawrinka, the Spaniard hit a
cleverly disguised drop shot from
the baseline to go up 11-10 in the
tiebreak and finally managed to
win it on his fourth set point with
a forehand winner.
Djokovic looked out of sorts
against Monfils. The Serb hadn t
been broken in his two previous
matches in Shanghai, but he
dropped serve twice in the first
Monfils played remarkable
defense in the first set, sliding and
stretching for every ball and forcing
errors. At one point, Djokovic was
so frustrated, he clenched his fists
and let out a full-throttle scream.
In the second set, it was Monfils
turn to get emotional. Down 3-1,
he sprinted after a drop shot and
did a split trying to reach it, falling
on his back. After lying still for 15
seconds, he finally wandered back
to the service line---and received
a time violation.
Monfils angrily questioned the
umpire about the rule and berated
him on the changeover. Then, a
couple of games later, he began
grimacing in pain and took an
injury timeout to have a trainer
massage his abdominal muscles.
He never recovered, looking
increasingly drained in the third
set.Meanwhile, Del Potro and
Tsonga each spent a little over an
hour on the court.
Del Potro, the 2009 US Open
champion, moved back into the
top five in the rankings on Monday
for the first time in more than
three years. He believes he s capa-
ble of challenging Nadal, Djokovic
and Andy Murray for Grand Slam
A win in Shanghai would make
a statement: He s never won a
Masters title and he would have
to get past Nadal and possibly
Djokovic to do so.
"I felt close to them in some
parts of the year, some matches
during this year, like in Wimbledon
(where he lost in a five-set semi-
final to Djokovic), or when I beat
Djokovic (and) Murray in Indian
Wells," he said.
Tsonga is also on the comeback
trail. He missed several months
with a knee injury and also parted
ways with his coach, Roger
Rasheed, after less than a year.
He s slipped to No 9 in the rank-
ings---his lowest position in two
Tsonga believes he has a good
shot against Djokovic, despite los-
ing their past eight matches.
Djokovic, Nadal reach
semifinals in Shanghai
Samantha Stosur moved into the
Japan Open semifinals with a 6-
1, 3-6, 6-3 win against Misaki Doi
of Japan yesterday.
Third-seeded Stosur, who won
the title in 2009, raced away to 5-
0 in the opening set but it was far
from simple after that as Doi bat-
tled back to stir the home crowd
and take the second.
The pair exchanged breaks of
service in the third set before Sto-
sur, the highest remaining seed,
held out to win.
Awaiting Stosur in the last four
today is American teenager Madi-
son Keys, who reached her first
WTA semifinals with a 6-3, 6-1
win against Zheng Jie of China.
In the other semi, Canada s
Eugenie Bouchard faces the last
Japanese, Kurumi Nara.
Bouchard beat Barbora Zahlavo-
va Strycova of the Czech Republic
2-6, 6-4, 6-1 in their last-eight
tie while Nara defeated Polona
Hercog of Slovenia 7-6 (4), 2-6,
Stosur advances in Japan Open
LINZ---Stefanie Voegele of
Switzerland won the last five
games to beat second-seeded
Sloane Stephens 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-
5 in the quarterfinals of the Gen-
erali Ladies yesterday.
The 12th-ranked Stephens lost
a 5-2 lead in the opening set before
converting her ninth set point in
the tiebreaker. Voegele used one
break to take the second set and
won the decider from 5-2 down.
The 58th-ranked Voegele will
play two-time former champion
Ana Ivanovic or Dominika
Cibulkova to reach her first career
Also, fourth-seeded Carla Suarez
Navarro of Spain beat Kirsten Flip-
kens of Belgium 6-1, 6-3 to reach
her fourth semifinal of the season
and first on hardcourt.
Suarez Navarro won the first
eight points of the match and held
serve throughout. She next plays
top-seeded Angelique Kerber or
Patricia Mayr-Achleitner. (AP)
Voegele, Suarez Navarro reach semis in Linz
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after defeating Switzerland's Stanislas
Wawrinka during the singles quarterfinal match of the Shanghai
Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis
Center, in Shanghai, China, yesterday. Nadal won 7-6, 6-1. AP PHOTO
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