World No.2 Rafael Nadal has failed to make into the playoffs at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
The Spaniard, who needed nothing, but win in his last Group B match, but was stopped by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three sets.
The Frenchman took the opener on a tie-break, but Nadal forced the decider by claiming the second set.
In the third, Tsonga managed to break his rival twice and wrapped up an unexpected win after spending two and a half hours on court, 7:6 (7:2), 4:6, 6:3.
“I think I didn’t play well tonight,” Nadal told the event’s official website. “The first two sets I didn’t play bad, but I didn’t play well, and to win these kind of matches you have to play well. I played without anything special tonight. If the two first sets weren’t good, the third was a disaster.”
Meanwhile, the winner had a completely different opinion about his own performance.
“Tonight I just played well, amazing tennis,” Tsonga said. “I don’t know if Rafa played really well. But, anyway, he fought to come back. This is what champions do every time. I was really aggressive. I had a good percentage of winners. I put a lot of pressure on him today.”
Victory over Nadal allowed the 26-year-old Frenchman progress to the semifinals, behind Group B winner Roger Federer.
The Swiss tennis player, who already guaranteed himself qualification to the playoffs, dealt with Mary Fish 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to finish the group stages with a perfect record.