Jo-Wilfried Tsonga put Rafael Nadal’s comeback on ice and reached his first Shanghai Masters final with a thrilling 6-4 0-6 7-5 victory on Saturday.
The mercurial Frenchman recovered from an embarrassing 6-0 ‘bagel’ in the second set to edge a thrilling decider, highlighted by his athletic diving volley to bring up match point.
The frustrated Nadal completely misread a backhand to give Tsonga the win, as the Spaniard narrowly failed to reach his second final in seven days after he was runner-up last week in Beijing.
Although Nadal will take encouragement from reaching the semis, after slipping to seventh in the rankings in a disappointing year, Tsonga will now celebrate one of his biggest wins of the season.
In Sunday’s final he will play either Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray, with the world number one and two set to play their blockbuster semi-final later.