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World No.1 Novak Djokovic came through a tough quarterfinal clash against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (and 15,000 French supporters) after saving four match points in the fourth set. Djokovic played some unbelievable tennis. His fighting spirit is really second to none. He showed it at the US Open, then again at the Australian Open, and he's done it here yet again. Novak truly is the man to beat this year, and beating him is no easy task. The way he raises the level of his game on vital points is simply superb. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was perhaps the better player in the second, third and fourth set, and yet he has to bare the agony of defeat at home.
Click here to re-live this exciting encounter!
Djokovic hit 44 winners and made just 34 unforced errors, which was probably the reason he took the match.
The first set that was pretty straight forward, wherein the World No.1 played at levels we have now become accustomed to watching now. He was absolutely dominant and won the set in only 21 minutes. Tsonga committed an alarming 15 errors and hit only 2 winners compared to just 5 errors from the Serb.
Full marks for Tsonga, the Frenchman was just reacting to what the Serb was throwing at him for a set and a half, before he drew on some inspiration literally out of no where. He was 1-3 down at one point before he came back to win the set, breaking Djokovic twice. The set had it all, long rallies, defensive play attacking play from both players. Tsonga really raised his game after going a break down. The set lasted 53 minutes, Tsonga hit 11 winners and committed 14 errors in the set.
The third was yet another fantastic set of tennis, both players played at high levels, with Djokovic breaking early. In the very next game Novak was up 40-0, but made a few errors, losing 5 points in a row to give away that break of serve back to Tsonga. Very similar to set 2, Tsonga just kicked on from there and kept making inroads on the Djokovic serve. He made some crucial errors at important junctions to give up the set in the last game. Tsonga hit a massive 11 winners compared to just 5 from Novak in the set. The set lasted 66 minutes.
The fourth was probably the best set of tennis we had seen in this year's French Open. Both players played at their optimum levels and really couldn't have done much better. Tsonga got 4 match points, but the Serb elevated his game on those points and won them all. He then went on to win the set in a nerve-racking tie break. Djokovic hit 17 winners to Tsonga's 16. He also had a high first serve percentage of 78 in the set.
The fifth was a rather disappointing end, as Novak just cruised and steamrolled Tsonga who didn't have an answer and looked a bit jaded after dropping those five match points.
Djokovic will now square off against Roger Federer in the next round.
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