CHINA OPEN 2012
Djokovic Captures Third Straight Beijing Title
by ATP Staff|
The top seed recorded his sixth straight victory over third-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(4), 6-2 in one hour and 42 minutes for the 32nd trophy of his career (32-19 in finals). It was his 40th hard-court match win of the season.
“I am planning to come back to the China Open next year,” said Djokovic. “It's been one of my most successful tournaments. This is where I love to play. I love the conditions and, as I mentioned before, I have lots of support from the fans who are very loyal and very nice.
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Djokovic is now 14-0 lifetime at the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament in Beijing. It was the fifth time he has three-peated at a tournament (also Australian Open, Dubai, Miami and Canada).
Djokovic earned $530,570 in prize money and 500 South African Airways ATP Ranking points to increase his lead to 1,490 points over Roger Federer (8,920) in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London.
When asked about the battle to clinch the year-end World No. 1 ranking, Djokovic said, “That's the target. This will definitely help me in that race, but it's still quite open. There are still tournaments to come, big ones. Shanghai, obviously the first 1000 event that is next week. I want to try to get as far as I can in the tournament, obviously taking one match at a time as I always do.”
Tsonga, who is hoping to join Djokovic at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London next month, received $239,200 and 300 points after competing in his 15th ATP World Tour final (9-6 overall).
Tsonga got off to a strong start, with an early service break, but Djokovic worked his way back into a high-quality first set. At 5-5, the clash was in the balance, but Djokovic stepped up in the tie-break to open up a 3-0 lead. Tsonga fought back, but he hit a backhand slice into the net to hand Djokovic the 65-minute opener.
In the second set, Djokovic converted the first of his two break point opportunities at 1-1, 15/40, when Tsonga hit a forehand wide. Tsonga was broken again to 15 at 1-3, when he struck a forehand into the net. Djokovic went onto capture his fourth title of the season and improved to a 65-11 match record.
“I think the first set was really even, and maybe a couple points decided the winner there," said Djokovic. "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.”
Tsonga is now 1-9 against Top 10 opponents this year. His last win over Djokovic came in January 2010 in the Australian Open quarter-finals.
“I think it was a good match,” said Tsonga. “I missed maybe something in the middle of 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, and it's not enough to beat him.
“I'm happy because I played good tennis here. It was a great tournament for me. I hope I will continue to improve like this and I will try another time to beat these guys next week.”
In Tsonga’s last tournament, he retained the Moselle Open title in Metz (d. Seppi) on 23 September. He has a 48-18 season record (29-9 on hard courts).