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Djokovic To Play London Contender Tsonga For Beijing Title

Beijing, China

Djokovic© AFP/Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic has a 7-5 lead over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Top-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic will aim to capture his third straight China Open title in Beijing on Sunday against third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France. Djokovic leads Tsonga 7-5 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series and has won all three of their meetings (Rome, Roland Garros, London Olympics) this year.

“He’s been playing really well,” said Djokovic, when asked about Tsonga. “There's no secrets between each other, between us. I mean, we [have] played many times, played a lot of important matches on the big stage. He's a very powerful player, big serve, big forehand, and if that works, he can win against anybody on any surface, to be honest. So there is no clear favourite, I think, in tomorrow's match. We have both been winning quite comfortably. It's going to be a good final hopefully for the tournament.”

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Djokovic improved to an ATP World Tour-best 64-11 match record on the season and to 13-0 at the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament after he beat Florian Mayer of Germany 6-1, 6-4 in one hour on Saturday.

“I got off to a good start,” said Djokovic. “Then [I] used that rhythm in the second set, which was close, obviously, but I managed to make that key crucial break at 3-3, and then I felt more comfortable.  I served well in the second set, but generally I have been playing really well throughout the whole tournament. Hopefully that can be the case tomorrow.”

The 25-year-old Djokovic, who has already qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, will be appearing in his ninth tour-level final of the year (3-5 overall). Djokovic has won titles at the Australian Open (d. Nadal), Sony Open Tennis in Miami (d. Murray) and the Rogers Cup in Toronto (d. Gasquet). 

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Tsonga added 120 South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London points to boost his chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London next month.

Tsonga reached his 15th tour-level final after Feliciano Lopez of Spain retired due to a left wrist injury in the second set. Tsonga was leading 6-1, 4-1 after 43 minutes of play. “I played really well,” said Tsonga. “I felt really good on the court. I'm just happy today with my game. I'm sure I will play good tennis in final.”

He will now contest his third ATP World Tour title match of the year. He won the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (d. Monfils) in January and Moselle Open in Metz (d. Seppi) last month. The World No. 7 has a 48-17 record on the season.

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