Alexa

Monfils upsets Nadal in Qatar Open semifinals

 Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after winning against Andreas Seppi of Italy in their ATP Qatar Open tennis quarterfinal match at the Khalifa...
 Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after winning against Andreas Seppi of Italy in their ATP Qatar Open tennis quarterfinal match at the Khalifa...

Qatar ATP Open Tennis

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after winning against Andreas Seppi of Italy in their ATP Qatar Open tennis quarterfinal match at the Khalifa...

Qatar ATP Open Tennis

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after winning against Andreas Seppi of Italy in their ATP Qatar Open tennis quarterfinal match at the Khalifa...

Gael Monfils stunned Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Qatar Open on Friday to line up an unexpected all-French final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after Roger Federer pulled out of the tournament with back spasms.
Monfils, who had only beaten Nadal once before in nine meetings, started well with a strong first serve and an ability to chase down nearly every shot.
Monfils broke Nadal to go up 4-2 in the first set. Nadal recovered to lead 4-1 in the second set but Monfils stepped up his game. He won 16 of 21 points _ including several jump volleys _ to go 5-4 up before closing out the match when Nadal hit a return wide.
"I just played my game," said Monfils, who swept aside Viktor Troicki of Serbia to reach the semifinals. "I think last night I played a good match and felt very good about it. I knew today if I did it in same spirit against Rafa it would be great."
The match was overshadowed by Federer withdrawing only 30 minutes before his match against Tsonga. The 16-time Grand Slam winner said his back had not improved since beating Andreas Seppi in three sets on Thursday.
Federer, who was looking for his fourth title in Doha, apologized to organizers but said he didn't want to risk further injury ahead of the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 16.
It is only the second time the 30-year-old Swiss has pulled out of a tournament due to injury in his illustrious career. He withdrew from the quarterfinals at the 2008 Paris Masters, also because of a back injury.
"I don't feel a whole lot of improvement for today, and I just don't think it's the right time to risk anything more right now," said Federer, who has tried several treatments. "I still have pain and that's why it was the only right decision, a difficult one for me ... so it's a sad moment for me and for the tournament and for the fans, but health goes first.
"It came throughout two points against (Grega) Zemlja in the beginning, 2-1 in the first set (of the second-round match), and then I wasn't able to serve properly anymore. Had the same thing yesterday. I was really playing with the hand brake on, and I was just trying to manage the situation, really. So it wasn't very easy to deal with."
Federer plans to fly out of Doha on Saturday as scheduled and is hopeful he will recover with rest and further treatment by the end of the week.
"For Australia, I'm optimistic, just because it's not very good but it isn't crazy bad," Federer said. "I have had bad backs in the past. This is definitely not very good, otherwise I would be playing. But I feel without play and the right treatment, I will get through it in the next few days."
___
https://twitter.com/mcasey1


Updated : 2021-04-14 23:26 GMT+08:00