SHANGHAI ROLEX MASTERS 2012
Djokovic In Hot Form; London Contenders Berdych, Tsonga March On
by ATP Staff|
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, the champion last week at the China Open in Beijing, continued his rich vein of form on Thursday as he defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-3 to reach the Shanghai Rolex Masters quarter-finals.
The Serb dropped just five games in a dominant opening display against Grigor Dimitrov a day earlier, and followed up against Lopez with an impressive serving performance. The Belgrade native hit 12 aces and surrendered just seven points on serve as he raced to victory in 68 minutes, breaking Lopez five times from 14 break point opportunities.
"I'm trying to enjoy the efficiency of my serve," said Djokovic. "I'm not very well known around the tour for big serving. But so far in this tournament, and also in Beijing, it has been working very well for me. It has been giving me a lot of free points, a lot of confidence into the matches."
The 25-year-old Djokovic is bidding to win his 13th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy and third of the season, following victories at the Sony Open Tennis in Miami (d. Murray) and the Rogers Cup in Toronto (d. Gasquet).
Two contenders in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London recorded important wins. Four spaces remain in the elite eight-man field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be played at London’s O2 Arena 5-12 November.
Fourth seed Tomas Berdych battled past American Sam Querrey 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4 to reach the Shanghai quarter-finals for the first time. The Czech withstood 17 aces from Querrey, while firing 12 of his own, and broke serve four times from 10 opportunities to prevail in two hours and 13 minutes.
Berdych is currently sixth in the Race To London and improved to a 52-18 match record on the season, highlighted by winning the Open Sud de France title in Montpellier (d. Monfils) and defeating Roger Federer to reach the US Open semi-finals (l. to Murray).
Fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached his fourth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final of the season with his third straight win over Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 7-6(2) in 82 minutes. "I feel like I [am] playing [a] really good level," said Tsonga, who is currently in line to secure the last singles berth in London.
"I played great. I think I [have] improved my game a bit these last couple of months. I [have] worked a lot. It's only now [that] I [have] started to play well, so I hope I will continue to play like this. After, of course, for me London is a goal."
Tsonga hit 11 aces and converted five of his six break point opportunities for his 50th match win of the season (50-18 overall). World No. 36 Baghdatis, who hit six aces and won 51 per cent of his service points, is trying to finish in the Top 50 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings for the sixth time in seven years (except 2008).