Aus Open: Nadal loses to unseeded Tsonga

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Second-ranked Rafael Nadal suffered his worst loss in a major as No. 39th Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat him 2, 6-3, 6-2 at the Australian Open.

Updated: January 28, 2008 15:44 IST
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Farewell Rafa. Hello Tsonga. Second-ranked Rafael Nadal, seeking to prove he can win a Grand Slam on a surface other than Roland Garros' clay, instead matched his worst loss in a major as No. 39th Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Australian Open finals with a dominating 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory.

Nadal played well against Tsonga, who has been plagued by injuries and had never gone beyond the fourth round in his four previous Grand Slams. But the Frenchman was virtually untouchable, smashing 17 aces against one of the best serve returners.

He now faces the winner of Friday's semifinal between top-ranked Roger Federer and No. 3 Novak Djokovic.

Nadal had just 12 unforced errors - four combined in the first two sets - while matching the fewest games he has won in a Grand Slam, against Andy Roddick at the 2004 US Open.

"I was playing fine," Nadal said. "He played unbelievable. Congratulate him."

Tsonga had 49 winners and didn't face any break points until the third set, when he saved three in one game in Nadal's only real challenge.

"It's unbelievable, just amazing," Tsonga said, calling it his best performance ever. "Nothing can stop me today. It's like a dream. I can't believe it's true. I was moving on the court like never I move. Everything was perfect."

On the women's side, fourth-ranked Ana Ivanovic staged a dramatic comeback, losing the first eight games before ousting No. 9 Daniela Hantuchova 0-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach her second Grand Slam final. She will meet No. 5 Maria Sharapova, who overwhelmed Serbia's Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-1.

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