Tsonga vs Fish: fresh Frenchman can see off flagging Fish
Rafael Nadal’s mission to win his first ever ATP World Tour Finals event nearly fell apart in his first game on Sunday night as the Spaniard struggled to see off the lowest ranked player in the tournament, Mardy Fish.
Nadal eventually came through to win 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 in a shade under three hours, but the encounter will undoubtedly have taken plenty out of the players.
Nadal was taken ill in the third set after his lunch of pasta and salmon disagreed with him, while Fish will be feeling the effects of three hours chasing Nadal’s forehand around the O2.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also lost his opening game against Roger Federer but his game was over in an altogether more reasonable 90 minutes.
Tsonga and Fish now face each other in their second game at the ungodly hour of 10am on Tuesday and it’s the Frenchman who should be the most confident heading into the match.
Tsonga is the 8/15 favourite and should come out on top after Fish’s epic encounter with Nadal – but this is still shaping up to be a tight game.
The players have only met on one previous occasion and that was in this year’s US Open, when Tsonga needed to fight back from 2-1 down to win in five sets.
Fish was impressive in spells against Nadal but it’s hard to see Fish – who is making his debut in the season-ending tournament – overcoming Tsonga at 6/4.
However, Fish will not roll over and backing him to bag a set but lose out to Tsonga 2-1 at 3/1 looks like an extremely tempting bet.