11 Jun 2011

Tsonga knocks Nadal out of Queen's Club championships

2:47 pm on 11 June 2011

A weary Rafael Nadal's had his Wimbledon warmup cut short, the Spanish world tennis number one beaten 6-7 6-4 6-1 in the quarter-finals of the Queen's Club championships by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Nadal, who claimed a record-equalling sixth French Open title last week, looked on course for the semi-final in London when he took an opening set tiebreak - but he appeared to run out of steam as fifth seed Tsonga seized control.

A full-length diving volley helped Tsonga earn two break points at 4-4 in the second set and, when Nadal hit long, the match began to slide away in the evening sunshine.

Tsonga broke Wimbledon champion Nadal's serve at the start of the deciding set and for once there was nothing left as he slumped to defeat.

Tsonga will play English wildcard James Ward, ranked 216th, who started the day by ending Sam Querrey's reign as Queen's champion as he won the final set of their rain-delayed third-round match to clinch a shock 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory.

The 24-year-old son of a London taxi driver had to return just hours later for his quarter-final clash against France's Adrian Mannarino.

But Ward showed no signs of tiredness as he recovered from wasting seven match points in the second set to win 6-2 6-7 6-4 and join fellow Briton Murray in the last four.

It's the first time in the professional era that two British players have made the semi-finals at Queen's.