Djokovic Defeats Tsonga to Win Third China Open

by John on October 7, 2012

Novak Djokovic, playing his first tournament since losing to Andy Murray in the U.S. Open final, returned to his winning ways earlier today, defeating Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (4), 6-2 to capture his third China Open championship. The top-seeded and second-ranked Serbian has won the Beijing tournament every year he has entered it, with previous titles coming in 2009 and 2010. He missed last year because of injury. Djokovic improved to 8-5 against the third-seeded Tsonga, scoring his sixth win in a row over the Frenchman, while winning his fourth title of the year and 32nd of his career. Little separated the players throughout the opening set. The first four games proceeded on serve, before Tsonga broke at love in the fifth game. Djokovic broke back immediately and both held serve the next six games to force a tiebreaker. Djokovic jumped out to a 4-1 advantage and led 5-3 before pushing an easy forehand well wide. Tsonga then double faulted and netted a backhand half volley, handing the tiebreaker and set to Djokovic. Nole broke in the third and fifth games of the second set and served it out at 5-2 to take the match in one hour and 42 minutes. “I think the first set was really even, and maybe a couple points decided the winner there,” Djokovic said. “We both had our chances aside those breaks that we converted…I managed to hold my nerves in the end. When you’re getting to the second set with the set advantage, mentally it is much more encouraging for you and then you try to play on that confidence run that you have. I made that early break in the second [and] I felt much more comfortable on the court.” While hitting only one ace, Djokovic serve well. He won 69 percent of the points on his first serve and 63 percent behind his second. “It was a good match,” Tsonga said. “I missed maybe something in the first set. I was a break up and I was playing well. But then he played solid. It was really difficult to control him. I just tried to play my game, to be aggressive. But against a player like this, for the moment my level is not high enough to beat him.” The No. 1 ranking is on the line this week at the Shanghai Masters, with Djokovic closing in on Roger Federer for the top spot. Nole can overtake Federer by winning the Shanghai title if the Swiss doesn’t at least reach the quarterfinals there.


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