Economy-class blues for Spain’s Nadal

Rafael Nadal

AS if being humbled by unseeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga wasn't bad enough, Rafael Nadal found out yesterday that he might be confined to the back of the plane for his onward trip to Frankfurt. 

The Spanish second seed, crushed by Tsonga in their Australian Open semi-final on Thursday, arrived at Melbourne airport to discover he could only get a business class seat as far as Singapore. 

The triple French Open champion was placed on waiting lists with both Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines for the flight out of the city state. 

“The business class is full out of Singapore. He has a business class ticket out (but) he is only in economy,” Nadal's agent Benito Perez-Barbadillo told Australian Associated Press. 

Nadal is still reeling from the heaviest defeat of his Grand Slam career, shellshocked after Tsonga blitzed him 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 with an awesome display of precision tennis. 

“He played unbelievable. He hit the ball hard every time, served unbelievable. I was playing fine, but he played better than me. I have to accept that,” Nadal said. 

Nicknamed Muhammad Ali for his likeness to the boxing legend, Tsonga has taken out four seeds on the way to tomorrowy's final – ninth seed Andy Murray, world number eight Richard Gasquet, 14th seed Mikhail Youzhny, and Nadal. 

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