Mon, Oct 19, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Novak Djokovic breezes past Tsonga in straight sets to win Shanghai Masters


Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns to France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final match of the Shanghai Masters at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena in China yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

It proved all too easy once again for Novak Djokovic, as the world No. 1 yesterday continued his frightening dominance of men’s tennis by blitzing past France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to win another Shanghai Masters title.

The 10-time Grand Slam champion brushed aside the challenge of a befuddled Tsonga 6-1, 6-4 to claim his third Shanghai Masters and ninth title of a standout year that has left him being spoken of among the sport’s all-time greats.

Djokovic won three Grand Slams this year, was runner-up at the French Open and, since suffering a surprise quarter-final loss to Ivo Karlovic in Qatar in January, has made the final of all 13 events he has played.

Tsonga, 30, had shown his serving prowess in taking out Rafael Nadal in three tight sets in the semi-finals on Saturday, but against the imperious returning skills of Djokovic he had no answers.

The 28-year-old Serb nullified Tsonga’s most potent weapon to break his three opening service games and take a first set, which the Frenchman played predominantly way behind the baseline.

Things improved for Tsonga at the start of the second set, where he worked hard to fight off break points and stay on serve through the opening eight games as the Serb sauntered through his own service.

However, the pressure proved too much, with Djokovic pummeling balls to all angles with supreme court coverage at the expense of just eight unforced errors. He broke at the third attempt in the crucial ninth game and served out for victory.

It was the second straight tournament Djokovic won without dropping a set after he landed his sixth China Open title in Beijing last week. The Serb now boasts a 38-1 win-loss record on the Chinese hard courts.

Tsonga will be comforted by his strong showing in China, which helped move him up to ninth in the race to qualify for the eight-man end-of-season ATP World Tour Finals in London next month.

However, Djokovic was left looking for more records after securing his 57th ATP Tour title and moving within two of Nadal’s 27 Masters Series crowns after taking his prize money for the year past a record US$16 million.

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