Djokovic Powers Past Tsonga In 2008 Aussie Open Final Repeat

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic hits a return against France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during their men’s singles match on day four of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. DAVID GRAY / AFP

 

World number one Novak Djokovic blasted past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 at the Australian Open on Thursday in a repeat of their 2008 Melbourne final, also won by the Serb.

The top seed vanquished his old French foe for the 17th time in 27 tour meetings stretching back 11 years and advances to face Canada’s 25th seed Denis Shapovalov in the third round.

AFP

Injured Tsonga Withdraws From Season-Opener In Doha

Tsonga Beats Belgium's Darcis To Level For France
(Files) France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga serves the ball to Belgium’s Steve Darcis during their singles rubber of the Davis Cup World Group final tennis match at The Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille on November 24, 2017. DENIS CHARLET / AFP

 

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has pulled out of January’s Australian Open warm-up event in Doha with a wrist injury, the tournament organisers announced on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old, who was the 2008 Australian Open runner-up to Novak Djokovic, is still expected to play in the opening Grand Slam tournament of the year at Melbourne Park, which starts on January 15.

World number 15 Tsonga, who won the Doha tournament in 2012, struggled with a right knee problem in October before returning to form and fitness in the final weeks of the season — winning in Antwerp and reaching the final at Vienna.

The tournament in Qatar starts on Monday.

Tsonga Beats Belgium’s Darcis To Level For France

Tsonga Beats Belgium's Darcis To Level For France
France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga serves the ball to Belgium’s Steve Darcis during their singles rubber of the Davis Cup World Group final tennis match between France and Belgium at The Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille on November 24, 2017. DENIS CHARLET / AFP

 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pulled France level at 1-1 in the Davis Cup final with an assured three-set win over Belgium’s Steve Darcis in Lille on Friday.

David Goffin had mercilessly swept aside close friend Lucas Pouille to give outsiders Belgium the first point at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

But world number 15 Tsonga steadied home nerves in the second rubber of the opening day with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 success over 76th-ranked Darcis to boost France’s hopes of claiming the trophy for the first time since 2001.

France’s top player, a beaten finalist against Switzerland at this same venue in 2014, took 1 hour 46 minutes to despatch the Belgian number two in the pair’s first ever encounter.

Darcis put up stubborn resistance until Tsonga finally managed to break the Belgian’s serve in the eighth game.

Tsonga’s power denied Darcis any chance of a comeback in the first set and it was plain sailing for the 32-year-old from then on.

That left the 2017 final finely poised ahead of Saturday’s doubles with France captain Yannick Noah still hesitating whether to stick with his proposed pairing of Richard Gasquet and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Noah suggested the 1-1 scoreline was “logical”.

“The two matches were similar, there was some tension on both sides. Between David and Lucas there was a moment when it was balanced but from when David pulled clear there wasn’t much to do.

“It was similar with Jo. We knew Darcis was a Davis Cup player. He loves to dig in then change a gear to win. But Jo didn’t give him the opportunity to do that.

“He (Tsonga) was very solid, he played a very good match. I was delighted. So 1-1 is logical.”

– Upper hand –

Goffin, the world number seven, won 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 in front of a crowd of close to 26,000 fans, many making the short trip from across the border with Belgium.

Goffin, who last week lost to Grigor Dimitrov in the title decider at the ATP Finals in London, needed just under two hours to give the Belgians the upper hand as they look to win the Davis Cup for the first time.

This was the 26-year-old’s first win over 18th-ranked Pouille in their fourth meeting.

Goffin got the better of his French foe’s strong baseline play, making the telling break in the 11th game to serve out to love to take the opening set.

He broke Pouille’s serve at the start of the second, going on to break again to take the set 6-3, and race to a 3-0 lead in the third.

A deft backhand winner lifted the Belgian to 5-1 and he sealed the first point of the 2017 final with a crosscourt forehand winner.

“I’ve pushed the salad bowl a little towards the border, only a little because it’s heavy,” said Goffin, referring to the trophy.

“I’m thrilled to have set the team off like that.”

Pouille was magnanimous in defeat.

“On that form he should have won the Masters. There’s not much to say, he’s playing the tennis of his life.”

Noah was keeping his cards close to his chest meanwhile on his pairing for Saturday’s doubles saying he may leave a decision “until the last moment”.

AFP

Djokovic Wins Shanghai Masters

DjokovicNovak Djokovic continued his dominance of men’s tennis by winning the Shanghai Masters title on Sunday in straight sets.

It proved all too easy once again for the Serbian brushing aside Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1 6-4 to claim his third Shanghai Masters and ninth title of the year.

Tsonga had shown his serving prowess in taking out Rafael Nadal in three tight sets in the semi-finals but against the imperious returning skills of Djokovic, he had no answers.

It was a second straight tournament Djokovic had won without dropping a set after he landed his sixth China Open title in Beijing last week.

Tsonga Faces Djokovic In Shanghai Masters Final

tsongaJo-Wilfried Tsonga has recorded a first win over Rafael Nadal in almost four years, after producing some scintillating tennis to beat the Spaniard in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters to Face Novak Djokovic.

The Frenchman triumphed 6-4 0-6 7-5 to reach his first Masters final since he triumphed in Toronto last year.

The 30-year-old fired down 11 aces to record his first win over Nadal since the 2011 ATP World Tour finals.

Nadal, a winner of 14 Grand Slam singles titles, struggled to cope with Tsonga in the opening set as the Frenchman pressured the Spaniard’s serve with some heavy hitting.

The victory gives a major boost to his flagging hopes of qualifying again for the end of season Championships in London.

However, Novak Djokovic produced an imperious performance to cruise to a 6-1 6-3 victory over Andy Murray.

British number one, Murray, was brushed aside in the first set by the Serbian as he won just one service game.

The 28-year-old Scot showed some fight in the second set, but never really threatened as Djokovic served out.

Rome Masters: Serena to play Li Na in semis as Nadal ousters Berdych

Serena Williams recorded an easy passage as she majestically strolled into the semi-final of the Rome Masters on Friday when Italian Flavia Pennetta gave up her chance for a place in the semi-finals as she left with a right wrist injury.

Ranked 21, Flavia was treated when she called for medical attention with 3-0 down after which she decided to quit when the scoreline was 4-0  and 40-0 against and in favour of Serena Williams.

According Serena she wasn’t happy with her mode of qualification but it was nice to have a semi-day off.

The American will be meeting China’s Li Na in the semi-final who is the defending champion of the French Open, a match Serena qualified as a test for her playing ability, an ability that won her the Madrid title last week.

Li Na beat Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-1, 7-6 to reach the semis.

Williams is looking forward to the French Open also as she displayed confident ahead of the Open come May 27th.

After being side-lined from July 2010 to June 2011 because of a blood clot in one of her lungs, the world number six said she was now feeling more confident than last summer, when she won back-to-back tournaments before losing in the final at the U.S. Open.

Meanwhile in the men’s game, Rafa  Nadal flowed into the semi-final of the Italian Open in fashion he has never done in months as he struck his mark better with an impressive 6-4 7-5 victory over Czech Tomas Berdych today.

Nadal who is presently rated number three in the world is aiming to clinch the title a sixth time as he came from behind to claim victory against the Czech.

Spaniard David Ferrer will be his next opponent in the semis as Ferrer also edged out Frenchman Richard Gasquest with 7-6 6-3 scoreline.

Later today, World number one Novak Djokovic will be facing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France while Roger Federer, the winner in Madrid for the men’s will face Italian Andreas Seppi.