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Toronto Saturday Preview: Djokovic Faces Familiar Foe

Toronto, Canada

• After Thursday’s complete rain-out and a two and-half hour rain delay on Friday, the Rogers Cup is back on schedule. The quarter-finals ended at 11:55 p.m. Friday with the reigning champion getting through in three sets. Now there are four players remaining in the semi-finals on Saturday. Three of the semi-finalists are looking to earn their first career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.

•  First up is No. 8 seed John Isner of the U.S. against No. 14 seed Richard Gasquet of France meeting for the third time (tied 1-1). Their previous meetings were three-set battles with each winner coming from a set down. Isner will break back into the Top 10 with his semi-final run this week (from No. 11) while Gasquet no matter what the result. Both players have been this far at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events before but have never come away with the title. This is Isner’s third ATP Masters 1000 semi-final (1-1 mark) with the one final coming at Indian Wells in March) while Gasquet is playing in his sixth ATP Masters 1000 semi-final (2-3 mark with his two finals coming at Hamburg in 2005 and here in Toronto in 2006).

•  In the night session, top seed and World No. 2 Novak Djokovic brings a 4-2 head-to-head mark against No. 5 seed Janko Tipsarevic in an all-Serbian encounter. Djokovic hasn’t won an ATP World Tour title since Miami four months ago, reaching the quarter-finals or better at all six tournaments he has played since then but never going all the way. He is hoping to reverse that trend on Sunday when he attempts to earn his third Rogers Cup title (2007, 2011). Standing in between him and the final is countryman Tipsarevic, who has won two of their last three meetings but has never reached the final of an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament (this is his third semi-final at this level but he is 0-2 in his first two, here in Canada last summer and on the clay of Madrid in May). Djokovic will be playing in his
30th career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final (20-9 mark). He is 11-9 in finals.

• 2012 ATP WORLD TOUR MASTERS 1000 FINALS – Djokovic is looking to reach his fourth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final this season and Isner his second. Here is a look at the list of finals:
  Champion    Finalist
Indian Wells Roger Federer John Isner
Miami  Novak Djokovic Andy Murray
Monte-Carlo Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic
Madrid  Roger Federer Tomas Berdych
Rome  Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic
Toronto       ?      ?



(14) Richard Gasquet (FRA) vs (8) John Isner (USA) Tied 1-1
09 Basel (Switzerland) Hard R16 Richard Gasquet 4-6 7-6(9)  6-2
10 Belgrade (Serbia) Clay QF John Isner 2-6 7-6(6)  6-3


Tournament Highlights:
• The 26-year-old Frenchman is making his seventh appearance (14-6 mark) in the past eight years (except ’09) and into his second semi-final…Opened with a 63 75 win over Mikhail Kukushkin and followed with 64 62 win over No. 4 seed/No. 7 ranked Tomas Berdych and No. 11 Mardy Fish 57 61 62
• No. 3 this week in return games won (13 of 32, 41%) and has broken opponents most in tournament
• In 2006, reached the final with wins over No. 6 Blake, Verdasco, No. 14 Berdych and No. 31 Murray before falling to No. 1 Federer 26 63 62…He is last Frenchman to reach Rogers Cup final and trying to become first French winner in Open Era (since 1968)
• In 2008, defeated No. 5 Ferrer before falling to No. 2 Nadal 67 62 61 in quarter-finals
• Last year lost in the third round to No. 10 Nicolas Almagro

2012 Highlights:
F: Estoril (l Del Potro); QF(5): Sydney (l Istomin); Montpellier (l Kohlschreiber); Rotterdam (l Davydenko); Marseille (l Del Potro); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Ferrer)
YTD W-L: 29-15 (14-8 on hard), 5-8 in Tie-breaks
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 6
Date of Birth: June 18, 1986
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 21

2012 in Review:
• The No. 3 Frenchman (behind No. 6 Tsonga, No. 14 Simon) enters his second semi-final of the season with a 29-15 match record on the season (14-8 on hard) and his best result came on clay in Estoril in May when he reached the final (l. to del Potro)…He is 2-3 lifetime in ATP Masters 1000 semi-finals
• He also was a quarter-finalist in five other tournaments, four on hard courts – Sydney (l. to Istomin), Montpellier (l. to Kohlschreiber), Rotterdam (l. to Davydenko) and Marseille (l. to del Potro)
• Will move from No. 21 to around No. 17 by reaching the semi-finals and to around No. 13 if he reaches the final and around No. 12 if he wins title
• Has a 6-9 career mark (1-4 on hard) in ATP World Tour finals and his last title came on home soil in Nice in May 2010 (d. Verdasco)
• Trying to become the third French winner on the ATP World Tour this season: Gilles Simon (Bucharest) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Doha)
• Has a 20-56 career record vs. Top 10 opponents (3-6 this year) with wins over No. 9 Tipsarevic at Aust. Open, No. 4 Murray at ATP Masters 1000 Rome and No. 7 Berdych here this week
FRENCHMEN IN TOP 50 – Gasquet is one of seven Frenchmen in the Top 50 South African Airways ATP Rankings (Spain leads with eight players in Top 50):
No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
No. 14 Gilles Simon
No. 21 Richard Gasquet
No. 28 Gael Monfils
No. 31 Julien Benneteau
No. 47 Jeremy Chardy
No. 50 Benoit Paire

Tournament Highlights:
• The 27-year-old American is making his debut in Toronto and his previous two Canadian visits were in Montreal, in 2009 (d. Levine, l. to Youzhny) and last year (d. Baghdatis, l. to Troicki), both in three sets
• This week has defeated Spaniard Pablo Andujar 76(5) 75 No. 12 Philipp Kohlschreiber 67 64 64 and No. 16 seed/top Canadian Milos Raonic 76(9) 64
• Leads the tournament with 47 aces and has held serve 35 of 39 games (90%)
• Andy Roddick is the last American to win the Rogers Cup title in 2003 (d. Nalbandian)…Since then, Mardy Fish was runner-up last year (l. to Djokovic) and Andre Agassi in 2005 (l. to Nadal), both in Montreal, and Roddick in 2004 (l. to Federer), the first year of the Rexall Centre

2012 Highlights:
W: Newport (d Hewitt); F(2): ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Federer); Houston (l Monaco); SF(2): Delray Beach (l Anderson); Atlanta (l Roddick); QF(3): Memphis (l Melzer); Nice (l Davydenko); London Olympics (l Federer)
YTD W-L: 36-14 (18-7 on hard), 32-12 in Tie-breaks
YTD Titles: 1/Career Titles: 4
Date of Birth: April 26, 1985
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 11 (Career-high No. 9 on April 16)

2012 in Review:
• The top American on the ATP World Tour has a 36-14 match record on the season, including 18-7 on hard courts…Also leads circuit with 32-12 tie-break mark, winning 12 of past 14 TBs
• Will return to Top 10 next week for first time since week of July 2 and 12th week in career since first breaking in on March 19 (after Indian Wells final)
• He is coming off a quarter-final showing at the London Olympics (l. to Federer)
• Last month he repeated his title in Newport (d. Hewitt) and followed with semi-final in Atlanta (l. to eventual champ Roddick)
• Looking to reach fourth ATP World Tour final this season (1-2) and 12th in career (4-7)
• He jumped off to a 20-7 start through April, and has compiled a 16-7 mark since
• During European play, lost in 2nd Rd. in Madrid (after bye) and Rome, QF in Nice (after bye), 2nd Rd. at Roland Garros (lost 18-16 in fifth set to Mathieu) and 1st Rd. at Wimbledon (lost 7-5 in fifth to Falla)
• Has led the U.S. into the Davis Cup semi-finals (vs. Spain) with wins over Frenchmen No. 13 Gilles Simon and No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in April at the Monte-Carlo Country Club…In February, beat No. 3 Roger Federer in first round tie in Switzerland
• In March, advanced to his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Indian Wells, defeating World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals before losing to Federer…Afterwards, broke into the Top 10 for the first time on Mar. 19...Has spent 11 weeks in Top 10 since then (No. 11 this week)
• He leads the ATP World Tour with most aces (704, 15.0 avg.) and break pts. saved (76%) and is No. 3 in service games won (91%) Here are the serving categories Isner ranks among the Top 10 leaders:
Aces No. 1 (704)
Service Games Won No. 3 (91%)
1st Serve Points Won No. 8 (77%)
2nd Serve Points Won No. 7 (56%)
Break Points Saved No. 1 (76%)

TOP FIVE AMERICANS – Isner is one of Americans in the Top 50 (and one of 10 overall in the Top 100):
No. 11 John Isner
No. 13 Mardy Fish
No. 20 Andy Roddick
No. 35 Sam Querrey

AMERICAN SUMMER SUCCESS – This is the fifth straight ATP World Tour tournament this summer at least one American has reached the semi-finals (American in bold):
Toronto John Isner vs. Richard Gasquet
Washington Alexandr Dolgopolov d. Sam Querrey, Tommy Haas d. Mardy Fish
Los Angeles: Sam Querrey d. Rajeev Ram
Atlanta Andy Roddick d. John Isner
Newport John Isner d. Ryan Harrison

(1)Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs (5) Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) Djokovic Leads 4-2
08 London / Queen's Club (Great Britain)Grass R16 Novak Djokovic 2-6 6-1 6-4
09 Belgrade (Serbia) Clay R16 Novak Djokovic 6-2 4-6 6-0
11 US Open (U.S.A.) Hard QF Novak Djokovic 7-6(2) 6-7(3) 6-0 3-0 ret
11 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Hard RR Janko Tipsarevic 3-6 6-3 6-3
12 Dubai (U.A.E.) Hard QF Novak Djokovic 6-1 7-6(6)
12 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid Clay QF Janko Tipsarevic 7-6(2) 6-3


Tournament Highlights:
• The reigning champ has a 20-3 career mark and on Friday posted wins over American Sam Querrey 64 64 and former World No. 2 Tommy Haas 63 36 63… Opened on Wednesday with a 62 63 win over Aussie teenager Bernard Tomic
• Has only been broken once this week (32 of 33 games held, 97%), saving 14 of 15 break points (93%)
• Last year defeated No. 8 Mardy Fish 62 36 64 in the final in Montreal…Also won title in 2007 in Canadian debut (d. Federer)
• In last Toronto visit two years ago, lost to Federer in semi-finals…In ’07, posted wins over No. 3 Roddick in QF, No. 2 Nadal in SF and No. 1 Federer, becoming first player to beat Top 3 at same tournament since Becker at 1994 Stockholm, also first player ever to beat Federer and Nadal at same tournament while they were ranked No. 1 and No. 2)
• Also reached quarter-finals in 2008 (l. to Murray) and 2009 (l. to Roddick)

2012 Highlights:
W(2): Australian Open (d Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (d Murray); F(3): ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Nadal); Roland Garros (l Nadal); SF(4): Dubai (l Murray); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Isner); Wimbledon (l Federer); London Olympics (l Murray); QF: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Tipsarevic)
YTD W-L: 48-9 (23-2 on hard), 10-8 in Tie-Breaks
YTD Titles: 2/Career Titles: 30
Date of Birth: May 22, 1987
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 2
 2012 in Review:
• The World No. 2 enters with a 48-9 match record on the season (23-2 on hard) and his two titles were repeat performances from last year at the Australian Open (d. Nadal) on Jan. 29 and ATP Masters 1000 Miami (d. Murray) on April 1…Has an ATP World Tour best 23-4 mark in ATP Masters 1000 play
• Last year left Montreal with his ninth title of the year and a 53-1 match record
• The 25-year-old Serb is coming off a bronze medal 75 64 loss to Argentine Juan Martin del Potro on Sunday…Lost in the semi-finals to eventual gold medalist Andy Murray
• En route to winning his fifth Grand Slam title (third in a row) Down Under (d. Murray and Nadal in back-to-back five-setters in SFs and final)…His 5:53 marathon win over Nadal was longest Slam final ever
• Prior to Miami, lost in the semi-finals to Isner 76 36 76, in Indian Wells, and to Andy Murray in Dubai
• Played well on clay with a 16-4 mark, reaching back-to-back finals at ATP Masters 1000 Rome and first at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal in both)…Then reached semi-finals at Wimbledon (l. to Federer)
• Held No. 1 for 53 consecutive weeks (from July 4, 2011 to July 8, 2012) before Federer regained it


Tournament Highlights:
• The 28-year-old Serb is appearing in the semi-finals for the second straight year after opening on Wednesday with a 76(2) 64 win over top Russian Mikhail Youzhny…On Friday, followed with a 62 64 victory over No. 10 seed Marin Cilic and 64 64 win over unseeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers
• Last year advanced to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final, defeating qualifier Tobias Kamke, World No. 20 Fernando Verdasco, Ivan Dodig and No. 9 Tomas Berdych before losing to No. 8 Mardy Fish 63 64
• Has a 7-3 career record…He fell in 1st Rd. in both previous appearances, in 2008 (l. to Mahut) and 2010 (ret. vs. Kohlschreiber w/ankle injury)

2012 Highlights:
W: Stuttgart (d Monaco); F(2): Chennai (l Raonic); Gstaad (l Bellucci); SF(2): Marseille (l Llodra); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Federer); QF(3): Dubai (l Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Murray); Barcelona (l Nadal)
YTD W-L: 44-16 (18-6 on hard), 18-12 in Tie-breaks
YTD Titles: 1/Career Titles: 3
Date of Birth: June 22, 1984
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 9 (Career-high No. 8 on April 2)

2012 in Review:
• The No. 2 Serb (behind No. 2 Djokovic) enters with a 44-16 match record on the season (18-6 on hard)
• He is trying to reach his fourth ATP World Tour final (1-2) of the season…Has only one opening round loss this year in 17 tournaments, to Stanislas Wawrinka in Rome in May
• Last month captured his third career ATP World Tour title, first on clay, in Stuttgart, defeating Argentine Juan Monaco in three sets…Followed with runner-up in Gstaad (l. to Bellucci in three sets)…Has 3-7 career mark in ATP World Tour finals (2-3 on hard)
• In his last tournament, lost in the third round at the London Olympics (l. to No. 11 Isner)
• Opened the season with a runner-up showing in Chennai (l. to Raonic in three tie-breaks without break of serve)…In February, advanced to semi-finals in Marseille (l. to Llodra) and in May, in Madrid (l. to Federer)…Also a quarter-finalist in three other tournaments
• In May, led his country to a 3-0 victory over Czech Republic in Power Horse World Team Cup in Duesseldorf by compiling 4-0 singles mark…Overall this year is 10-0 on German soil
• Has a 14-36 career mark vs. Top 10 opponents (2-5 this season) and both of his wins have come on clay over No. 1 Djokovic in Madrid and No. 7 Berdych in ATP World Team Chp. in Duesseldorf


Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs Richard Gasquet (FRA) Djokovic Leads 6-1
06 ATP Masters Series Madrid (Spain) Hard R32 Novak Djokovic 7-6(2) 1-6 6-1
07 Estoril (Portugal) Clay F Novak Djokovic 7-6(7) 0-6 6-1
07 Tennis Masters Cup (China) Hard RR Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-2
10 ATP Masters 1000 Shanghai Hard R16 Novak Djokovic 6-1 6-1
11 ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells Hard QF Novak Djokovic 6-2 6-4
11 Roland Garros (France) Clay R16 Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-4 6-2
12 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami Hard R16 Novak Djokovic 7-5 6-3
Other meeting:
05 Cherbourg CH (France) Hard R16 Novak Djokovic 6-2 1-0 ret

Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs John Isner (USA)  Djokovic Leads 2-1
10 SRB vs. USA WG 1st RD (Serbia) Clay RR Novak Djokovic 7-5 3-6 6-3 6-7(6) 6-4
10 Beijing (China) Hard SF Novak Djokovic 7-6(1) 6-2
12 ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells Hard SF John Isner 7-6(7) 3-6 7-6(5)

Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) vs Richard Gasquet (FRA) Gasquet Leads 2-0
05 London / Queen's Club (England) Grass R64 Richard Gasquet 6-1 7-6(3)
12 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R32 Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-3 6-1
Other meeting:
03 Sarajevo CH (B&H) Hard SF Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-1
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) vs John Isner (USA)  Tied 1-1
09 Vienna (Austria) Hard R32 Janko Tipsarevic 7-6(4) 6-4
12 London Olympics (Great Britain) Grass  R16  John Isner   7-5 7-6(14)

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Related Topics:

Rogers Cup, Toronto, Media Notes 2012

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