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In Qatar, Monfils upsets Nadal, Federer withdraws
Published in Bikya Masr on 07 - 01 - 2012

Gael Monfils upset Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 Friday in the semifinals of the Qatar Open to create 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, used a strong first serve and chased down nearly every shot.
“I just played my game,” said Monfils, who defeated 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.”
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.
Monfils said the key was not getting rattled, even when down in the second set.
“It was just a break, so I was just trying to adjust the way I played,” he said. “I was just thinking, ‘it's one break and I know I can break him.'”
Nadal praised Monfils for his performance, saying he had “fantastic shots with very good backhands, good forehands, his movements were fantastic.”
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 told reporters he didn't want to risk further injury ahead of the Australian Open, which starts January 16.

ShortURL: http://goo.gl/Au1xr
Tags: Gael Monfils, Qatar Open, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer
Section: Sport


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