TORONTO: World number one Novak Djokovic slumped to a 6-2, 6-2 defeat to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round of the Toronto Masters, while Roger Federer advanced with a tight victory.
Djokovic, who needed almost three hours to get past Gael Monfils in his opening tie this week, looked under-prepared against Tsonga, the powerful French 13th seed.
The Serb was joined on the sidelines by his doubles partner Stan Wawrinka, with the Australian Open winner losing to Kevin Anderson 7-6 (10/8), 7-5.
Wimbledon champion Djokovic finished with 18 unforced errors and dropped serve four times.
“I didn’t play even close to what I intended before going to the court, nothing was going well — no baseline, no serve, no return,” said Djokovic. “It was just generally a very bad day, very poor performance. I couldn’t do much.”
The victory marked the third time that Tsonga had beaten a world number one after putting out Rafael Nadal at Queen’s three years ago and defeating Federer in Canada in 2009.
“For me today it was great, I played a good match,” said Tsonga. “I was in good condition from the start, I served pretty well. I was pretty aggressive; it’s something positive for me.”
Meanwhile, two-time Canadian winner Federer was forced to the limit by Croatian Marin Cilic, with the Swiss second seed finally claiming a 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (3/7), 6-4 win on his seventh match point.
“It was a thrilling match and I hope to keep it up,” said the relieved winner, who next faces David Ferrer in the quarter-finals. “I was unlucky with some shot selections on some of the match points and he hung in there.”
“It was nice to win this one as I’ve had some tight losses this season.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2014.
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