ROGERS CUP 2011
Djokovic, Tsonga To Meet In Semi-finals
by ATP Staff|
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic improved to 7-0 against Gael Monfils, overwhelming the No. 5 seed 6-2, 6-1 in the Rogers Cup quarter-finals on Friday evening. He will square off against 13th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals, as Tsonga advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over No. 8 seed Nicolas Almagro.
After facing a break point in the opening game, it was smooth sailing for the Serbian. Monfils held to get to 2-2, but Djokovic reeled off nine consecutive games to put the match out of the Frenchman’s hands. Monfils fought in the final game, creating two break point opportunities, but the top seed closed the door to seal the victory in one hour and 14 minutes. "I have played the best match of the tournament, no doubt. Everything was going well," said Djokovic. "I had a difficult game on two-all to hold my serve. After that, when I made the first break, it was incredible. 9, 10 games in a row. I'm happy to see my game is progressing each day."
Djokovic is now 51-1 on the season, and is looking to win his fifth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown in 2011, after defeating Rafael Nadal in the finals of Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome. He is seeking his second title in Canada, having won in Montreal on his debut four years ago (d. Federer).
A day after knocking out two-time Rogers Cup champion Roger Federer, Tsonga delivered another strong performance, dismissing the eighth-seeded Almagro in one hour and 28 minutes.
The Frenchman won 70 per cent of his service points, and saved three break points in the final game to lock up the quarter-final win. The victory increased Tsonga’s undefeated record against Almagro to a 5-0 mark. "I was a bit tired today. I lacked energy. The match yesterday took a lot of stamina, and today my energy level was low," admitted Tsonga. "Therefore, I decided to focus on only a number of return games and try to focus on holding my serve. It was a way for me to save the energy I had left, not playing hard every game."
Tsonga is into the semi-finals for the second time at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Canada, after reaching the final four in Montreal two years ago. The 26 year old is looking to win his first title in 2011, having finished runner-up in Rotterdam (l. to Soderling) and the AEGON Championships in London (l. to Murray). Tsonga's biggest title to date came on home soil, when he claimed the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris three years ago (d. Nalbandian).
The World No. 16 and Djokovic have met eight times, and Tsonga holds a 5-3 edge. Djokovic won their most recent meeting, defeating the Frenchman in four sets in the Wimbledon semi-finals. "The last match was very close, very intense, very important for both of us," Djokovic said. "He's been playing better in last couple of months. I think he increased his level. He's and all around player. He can play pretty well on all surfaces. He has a big serve. If he serves well, he can beat anybody. He showed that in previous couple of tournaments.
"So it's going to be tough one. It's a fast surface. I need to return well and hope that I can get some chances."