Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Djokovic saves 4 match points, beats Tsonga, reaches semis at Roland Garros

Djokovic saves 4 match points, beats Tsonga, reaches semis at Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic survived Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with a 6-1 5-7 5-7 7-6 6-1 win to reach the French Open semi-finals.

Djokovic saved four match points in the fourth set, forcing a tiebreak he won 8-6 before breaking decisively early in the fifth.

The Serb Roger Federer for a final spot.

"Unfortunately there had to be a winner and a loser," Djokovic said. "He was the better player for most of the match. I was fortunate to come back from four match points. I don't know how I came back from that."

Nole crushed his opponent in the opening set which he won in just 21 minutes. Tsonga ended an 11-point streak by Djokovic in the third game of the second set and then broke back in the eighth game when Djokovic netted a backhand and started to pound the ball to all corners of the court to bag the second set on Djokovic's serve when the Serbian misfired a forehand.

Djokovic broke for 2-1 in the third set but was broken straight back.

Tsonga earned a set point and that he was able to convert thanks to a running crosscourt forehand winner.

The Frenchman got two match points at 5-4 in the 4th set but Djokovic saved the first one with a volley and on the second one, he stepped into the court to follow up on a big first serve to fire a forehand winner.

At 6-5, Tsonga had two further match points. He netted a forehand on the first one while Djokovic outplayed him on the second to finish off the exchange with a smash.

The Serbian went 4-2 down in the resulting tiebreak but once again kept his composure to take it 8-6 and, as Tsonga ran out of steam, opened a 3-0 lead in the decider.

Djokovic ended the contest after four hours and nine minutes with a backhand winner down the line.

"As I said before the match I gave everything," Tsonga told a courtside interviewer.

"I would have loved to win this match but I had nothing left in my legs, I'm sorry for that," he added with a stifled sob.

About playing Federer next and before a potential final against Rafael Nadal he commented.

"The good thing is that we both have two days off to rest," he said, referring to Federer's five-set victory against Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in the day's other quarter-final.

"And I hope to have another great match like we had in 2011. It's always a big challenge to play Roger."