Rome Masters - Djokovic outclasses Tsonga
World number one Novak Djokovic made light work of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in their 7-5 6-1 quarter-final clash at the Rome Masters.
An entertaining first set was won in disappointing style as Tsonga double-faulted at the death, prompting a collapse from the Frenchman that saw the defending champion run away with the second set.
"The second set was the best I have played this week," Djokovic said.
"I don't like to compare how I am playing to last year, but I am very happy with my game."
A topsy-turvy opening set saw both men break for fun, with the Serb exercising more control but Tsonga putting in some marvellous serves and volleys.
It all came down to the last game when, having levelled out the breaks and Tsonga serving to stay in the set, the Frenchman somehow saved three break points with agile net-play and inventive backhands - before double-faulting the good work away to hand the Serb the opening set 7-5.
Tsonga continued to be the architect of his own downfall, double-faulting to another break early in the second set as he seemed depressed by that earlier howler.
Djokovic was understandably unsympathetic as he followed with a love hold, and the Serb did not look back as he broke once more, Tsonga’s error-strewn collapse complemented by Nole’s faultless display - as he went 4-0 up, the top seed had not made a single error in the second set.
The world number five’s head had dropped and he failed to make a dent on the Djokovic serve in the next game, another love hold as the neutrals whistled Tsonga’s collapse.
The Frenchman made a fist of the finish by holding serve, avoiding the bagel and setting up a close final game during which he managed to bring up break point: but Djokovic upped the ante power-wise and won three points on the trot to complete the victory and move into his fourth Rome Masters semi-final.