ROGERS CUP 2011
Djokovic To Face Fish In Montreal Final
by ATP Staff|
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is one win away from becoming the first player to win five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns in the same season after defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup on Saturday. Djokovic led Tsonga 6-4, 3-0 before the No. 13 seed retired with a right arm injury.
"I reached another final, which makes me really happy," said Djokovic. "I did win this tournament before, which helps a little bit. I really like playing in Montreal. I think the atmosphere is really good. The crowd is coming in big numbers. Obviously I'm lifting the level of my game each match, which is important prior to tomorrow's challenge."
The Serbian is attempting to become the first men's player to win a tournament in his No. 1 debut since Pete Sampras did it in 1993 in Hong Kong. Djokovic can achieve the feat should he get past Mardy Fish in Sunday’s championship. Djokovic has won all six meetings with the American, including a straight sets victory in the semi-finals of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami this year.
"It's important when you play a player like Mardy to hold your composure, to be patient and wait, wait for the chance on his service games, try to have high percentage of the first serves and stay aggressive," believes Djokovic.
"I think these conditions, which are a bit faster, are quite suitable to his style of game. He's been winning his matches quite comfortably. He's been serving extremely well. But I think if I return well, as well as I did in the last two matches, I have a good chance."
After nine straight holds to start the match, Djokovic broke Tsonga on his fourth break point to take the first set in 39 minutes, winning 14 of 15 of his first service points. He continued to serve well in the second set, and did not face a break point in the shortened encounter.
In Saturday's first semi-final, World No. 8 Fish reached his third successive final as he dismissed Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-4.
The American began his Olympus US Open Series by winning his sixth ATP World Tour title in Atlanta (d. Isner) and followed by reaching the final in Los Angeles, where he finished runner-up to Ernests Gulbis.
"It's a dream come true," said Fish. "I desperately wanted to go into the US Open in the Top 10. I'm not sure where this puts me now or if it moves me at all. At least it gives me a little cushion against some of the guys that are coming up."
The 29-year-old Fish broke early to clinch the first set and looked to have control of the match as he went up an early break in the second set. Tipsarevic, who had upset seventh seed Tomas Berdych to reach his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final, fought back to level at 2-2 as he benefitted from a rare spate of Fish unforced errors. However, his comeback was shortlived as Fish reclaimed his break advantage in the seventh game and served out victory in 76 minutes.
"It's been a great week. Just playing the semi-finals in a Masters Series event is a good result for anyone," said Tipsarevic. "But I really am not happy about the performance today. I felt I was too much focussed on fighting for every point rather than being focussed on what I need to do on court.
"I was nervous at some points, I felt I had a good fighting spirit. But the problem was that the ball was just not flying from my racquet. On the other hand, you had Mardy Fish, who I feel he played a great game from start to finish. But it's really simple, I said it yesterday: in order to beat Mardy Fish, I needed to play good. I didn't play good today."
Fish is through to his fourth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final and will attempt to win one of the coveted trophies for the first time after runner-up efforts in Cincinnati in 2003 and 2010 and in Indian Wells in 2008.
"Overall obviously extremely pleased with the way I played," said Fish. "It felt like I had the upper hand for most of the match. Minus that just small hiccup there (in the second set), I think I played very well."