Melbourne, Jan 28: Spain's Fernando Verdasco has entered his first grand slam semi-final. In an upset result at this year's Australian Open, 14th seed Verdasco beat fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 6-2.
Having led his country in the absence of Rafael Nadal to victory over Argentina in Davis Cup last year, Verdasco now has the chance to register another upset in the semis where he could face the world No 1.
Tsonga, last year's beaten Australian Open finalist, had his chances, only to squander them with a lack of discipline on big games.The Frenchman was competitive throughout the first set, before seemingly losing concentration in the tiebreak, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. A rare error from Verdasco, who slapped a simple volley out of court on game point in the sixth game, allowed Tsonga the advantage in the second set.
He held onto it to level the score having converted only one of seven break points in the first two sets. But that was the last piece of serious resistance Tsonga showed. He dropped his first serve in the third set and Verdasco maintained his superiority to take it without being threatened.
It was the same in the fourth with Tsonga again dropping his first serve of the game and providing little more than token opposition. Verdasco put a solid 88 per cent of his first serves into play in the final set and 78 per cent for the match.
The defeat leaves Tsonga's appearance in last year's Open final as his grand slam highlight.
He didn't play in either the French Open or at Wimbledon and won only two matches at the US Open.