Did anyone else get disoriented during the Tsonga vs. Verdasco quarterfinal today? After the Spaniard won the third set, running Tsonga from alley to alley like a sadistic Agassi/Nadal hybrid, I turned to my husband and asked “Who the hell IS this guy???”
It’s like he’s a completely different player – a new young gun on the scene with no baggage and nothing to lose. A guy who makes the usually red hot Tsonga look tired and slow. And he’s transformed himself almost overnight, in tennis terms, from winning the DC final with a Rafa-less team in November to starting training over the holidays with guru Gill Reyes in Vegas, to landing in his first ever Major Quarterfinal (make that Semi) barely a month later. I’m still trying to figure out where he found the time to love and lose Ana Ivanovic through all this – I guess something had to give.
And then there’s the new “talk to the HAND!” victory cheer he’s working. Like Jo-Dub’s hitchhiking boxer routine last year, Nando’s created his own signature on-court celebration – a must-have for any surprise finalist.
But despite all signs pointing towards his first Major final appearance, I don’t see him getting past Rafael Nadal.