Shanghai Flashback: Rafael Nadal earns a bagel but loses!

Rafael Nadal lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2015 Shanghai Masters semi-final

by Jovica Ilic
Shanghai Flashback: Rafael Nadal earns a bagel but loses!
© Kevin Lee / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal chased his second Shanghai Masters final in 2015, playing for the title at the inaugural event in 2009. Rafa reached the semi-final in 2015, bageling Jo-Wilfried Tsonga but falling 6-4, 0-6, 7-5 in two hours and 15 minutes!

Tsonga left a terrible second set behind and prevailed in the decider, reaching his fourth Masters 1000 final. Nadal barely survived the Ivo Karlovic challenge in the second round. The Spaniard raised his level, defeating Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinka in straight sets to enter the last four.

Nadal and Tsonga met for the 12th time, the first since Monte Carlo 2013, and the Frenchman scored his fourth win. Thus, Jo-Wilfried arranged the title clash with Novak Djokovic. Thanks to that dominant second set, Nadal won three points more than Tsonga.

The Spaniard fended off eight out of ten break chances and earned three breaks from 11 opportunities, all in set number two. Tsonga had almost twice as many winners and 20 unforced mistakes more than his opponent. He stayed in touch with Nadal in the more extended exchanges before securing the victory with a late break in the final set.

Rafa felt in the opening game and faced two break chances, fending them off with service winners and avoiding an early setback.

Rafael Nadal bageled Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Shanghai 2015 and lost.

Pushing strong on the return, Tsonga secured a break with a backhand down the line winner at 2-2, moving in front and cementing the advantage with an ace in game six.

The Frenchman fended off two break chances in the eighth game and brought the set home with a hold at love at 5-4. Rafa had the upper hand in set number two, playing at a high level on serve and return and leaving Jo-Wilfried behind to arrange a decider.

Both players held at love at the beginning of the third set, with Nadal performing an impressive escape at 1-1 after fending off three break chances! They played well behind the initial shot in the next seven games, and Rafa served at 5-5 to secure a tie break.

Tsonga fired a forehand down the line winner at 30-30 for a break chance, converting it when Nadal netted a volley at the net. Serving for the victory in game 12, Tsonga held at 30 to seal the deal and celebrate his first victory over Nadal in almost four years.

Rafael Nadal Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Shanghai Masters