A rather surprising result this morning from Bangkok. I’m sure many of us, myself included, thought it was a forgone conclusion that Rafael Nadal would walk away with the Bangkok title Sunday, but it’s not to be.
Earlier today Nadal was absolutely stunned by his countryman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-3 in the semifinals.
For me, the loss is a complete shocker. I know the tournament is just a 250 and there wasn’t a lot on the line (ok, I heard he was paid $1.5M to show up), but Rafa should win that match 10 times out of 10 especially with the confidence he had accrued from his US Open win.
“I had a lot of break point chances in the second set, too many chances,” said Nadal who was just 2 of 26 on break chances! “He played a great match especially in the third set, but I was playing better than him in the beginning. I didn’t play the break points well. With 26 opportunities to break you have to take your chances. It’s a difficult loss to accept. I was playing well and had a good opportunity to get to final.”
Credit to G-Lo for saving those 24 of 26 break points and finishing off Rafa, but what a head scratcher.
“I have never beaten a No. 1 player in the world before,” said G-Lo. “I’ve beaten some good Top 10 players, but never a No. 1. I think it was the best match of my career. I think the tie-break in second set was the key. I felt much better after that and I was playing great at the end. Everything went perfectly.”
The 53rd-ranked G-Lo will face world No. 60 Jarkko Nieminen in the final. The Finn dusted Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-2.
Nadal now heads to Tokyo where the field is a little stronger with Andy Roddick, JW Tsonga, Juan Martin Del Potro and Gael Monfils. So I’ll be interested to see how he fares. Part of me still isn’t convinced the guy is going to takeover tennis on hardcourts anytime soon. I know he won the US Open – his lone hardcourt title in the last 18 months – but I’d like to see some follow thru the next month or so.
Nadal opens up against the upright Colombian Santiago Giraldo, then likely Florent Serra with Gulbis in the QF and maybe even in the SF his buddy F-Lo who drew Del Potro in the first round. So Rafa has to be pleased with his draw.
In Kuala Lumpur, Mikhail Youhzny, who’s quietly putting together an excellent season, beat Igor Andreev 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 to move into the final against Andrei Golubev. The 23-year-old Golubev ousted David Ferrer 7-5, 7-6(4) in a mild upset.
In the WTA Tokyo final, top seed Caroline Wozniacki beat Elena Dementieva 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to win her tour-leading 5th title on the season.
“I really enjoy winning. I’m feeling good,” Wozniacki said. “It’s always nice to hold the trophy in your hand. That’s what you’re practicing for. Hopefully next week in Beijing will be as good. I’ll take it one match at a time and we’ll see.”
The win puts Wozniacki in position to overtake the injured Serena Williams for the No. 1 ranking next week in Beijing.
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