Nadal vs Tsonga Sony Ericsson Open 2012 Quarterfinal Preview
For the sixth consecutive year, world No.2 Rafael Nadal has reached the Sony Ericsson Open quarterfinals after a straight set win (6-4, 6-4) over 16th seeded Japanese, Kei Nishikori on Tuesday.
Next up, the 25-year-old Spaniard will take on No. 6 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France after he also defeated 19th seeded German Florian Mayer in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. The Spaniard and the Frenchman are scheduled to square off tonight at 9 PM ET and it’ll be broadcasted live on ESPN-2.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how Rafa’s left knee responds tonight after such a physical match against Nishikori. Although on paper it looks like an easy straight-set victory, it was anything but for the former world No.1. In fact, at one point, Nadal was even forced to take a medical timeout in order to receiver treatment on his knee.
“I am not probably in perfect condition today with the left knee,” said the 10-time Grand Slam champ after the match. “But the important thing is to try to win as many matches as possible. For me this is an important tournament, and every victory has very, very big value for me, especially without being perfect.”
Last year, Nadal lost in the Key Biscayne finals to Novak Djokovic and is a three-time runner up at this event. Mostly because of Djokovic, Rafa is still looking for his first tournament win since the 2011 French Open. Nadal is now 16-3 this season, but until he can figure out a way to beat Djokovic, his winless drought may continue.
With the top-seeded Serb still in contention, and with the way the draw was set up, we could see a second consecutive Miami final between these two rivals. Djokovic reached the final 8 with a 7-5, 6-3 win over 17th seeded Richard Gasquet.