In these pieces I have said Shanghai brings out the best in people. It’s after the US Open, players have had time to reflect and build for the end of the season.
At the stage Shanghai with the flair and brilliance of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and you’ve got a dream pair.
When you play against Rafa you need to bring an intensity to try and match him and Jo did this from the off.
At 2-2 the Frenchman saw a break point and took it in typical fashion!
image credit – ATP
It’s one of those shots where there is only one place to go but if anyone is going to find that place it’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Not only was the shot incredible but the reaction, the energy from Jo set the tone for the set. He was pumped up and raced to his seat as that break was all that was needed as he took the set 6-4.
Where do we go from there?
Rafa went into business made and broke the Frenchman to love and then went onto do it two more times as suddenly Rafa had bageled Jo to force a third set.
The level in the third set was the best throughout the match and it was all about opportunity for Jo who of course took that chance in the fifth game of the first set but at five each in the third he turned on the style again!
Jo used his slice to get that wide serve into play knowing Rafa would come into the net and try to finish the point. Jo as expected picked up the running forehand but the sheer power of the Frenchman’s shot was too much for Rafa to put the volley away as the Spaniards attempt smashed into the net.
The magic wasn’t done yet, Jo had to serve out the match and well of course he had more trickery up his sleeve producing a diving volley at the net which propelled him to then set up match point.
The backhand from Rafa fell into the net and the big win in the 2015 Shanghai semi-finals belonged to Jo!