TENNIS – Jo Wilfred Tsonga upset World Number 1 Novak Djokovic in just 63 minutes to advance to the quarter final of the Rogers Cup. Tsonga scored his first win over Djokovic since the 2010 Australian Open. It was a day of big upsets in the Rogers Cup third round where Kevin Anderson beat Stan Wawrinka and Feliciano Lopez knocked out Tomas Berdych. Diego Sampaolo
Number 2 seed Roger Federer had to dig deep to beat Marin Cilic on the eve of his 33rd birthday thanks to his only break at the end of the match. Cilic, who won two tournaments in Zagreb and Delray Beach and lost against Novak Djokovic in the quarter finals at Wimbledon, had to fend off nine of ten break points and six match points he faced when he was serving at 4-5 in the second set.
There were no breaks in the first set which came down to the tie-break. Federer got the decisive mini-break when Cilic made a backhand error.
Federer earned six match points on Cilic’s serve in the 19-minute 10th game of the second set. Federer failed to convert any of these match points and the second set was decided by the tie-break where Cilic prevailed with 7-3 forcing the match to the third set.
Federer faced a big scare when he had to save a point for 0-2 at the start of the third set. In the ninth game Federer broke serve for the first time in the match to take a 5-4 lead.
On his 33rd birthday Federer will take on David Ferrer in the quarter final. He leads 14-0 in their previous head-to-head matches. Ferrer recovered from a set down to beat Ivan Dodig 1-6 6-3 6-3
“It’s nice to win these kind of matches. Especially this season I have lost some closer ones. I am happy I came through tonight. Marin played really well, especially for longer periods. I am happy I was able to find a way tonight”, said Federer
Tsonga upsets Djokovic 6-2 6-2
Jo Wilfred Tsonga, who reached two semifinals in the Rogers Cup in 2009 and 2011, will face Andy Murray who took advantage of the withdrawal of Richard Gasquet who pulled out of the tournament due to to an abdominal problem.
Tsonga served on match point and closed out the match when Djokovic’s return went wide. It was Tsonga’s first win over Djokovic after 10 defeats in a row. Djokovic did not show his best form in the previous match where he needed three tough sets to battle past Gael Monfils
Tsonga got the first break in the third game of the first set to take a 2-1 lead as Djokovic made a backhand unforced error.. At 4-2 Tsonga earned a break point chance as Djokovic made a double fault followed by rwo slice backhand errors. Tsonga converted the break point as Djokovic drove a backhand out. Tsonga clinched the first set with a forehand winner.
Tsonga sealed the win with seven consecutive games at 3.2 in the first set which eanabled him to pull away to 6-2 4-0
He saved a break point in the second game of the second set before getting a break in the third game for 3.0. Tsonga held serve for 4-0. At 5-2 30-30 Tsonga faced a break point chance but he saved it with his eighth ace of the match followed by a service winner.
Tsonga scored his first match against a top-10 this year. It was his first win against a World Number 1 since June 2011 when he beat Rafa Nadal at the Queen’s. This win was a confidence-booseter for World Number 15 Tsonga who has achieved his best result this year in Monte-Carlo when he reached the quarter final. Tsonga has become the first Frenchman to defeat three different Number 1 players (Federer in Montreal 2009, Nadal at the Queen’s 2011 and Djokovic at Toronto 2014)
Tsonga won 81 percent of his first serve points and hit 8 aces. He hit 23 winners to 23 unforced errors compared to 11 winners and 18 unforced errors for Djokovic
“It’s not every day you get the rewards of what you’re doing every day during the year. You leave your family. You practiceevery day hard, suffer every day on the court. When you win a match like this, you just feel good. The match was not so easy as the score can suggest. It is never easy against Djokovic”, said Tsonga.
“Just nothing was going. No baseline. No serve, no return. It was a very bad day. A very poor performance”, said adisappointed Djokovic.
Anderson won over Wawrinka 7-6 7-5
The other big upset was Kevin Anderson’s win over Stan Wawrinka with the scoreline of 7-6 7-5. Wawrinka broke serve in the third game of the opening set to take a 2-1 lead but Anderson drew level after the Swiss made two double faults. The first set went on serve until the tie-break. Wawrinka failed to convert on two set points in the tie-break of the first set.
Anderson clinched the win with a break for 6-5 in the 11th game and sealed the win on serve on his first match point. It was the third win against a top-10-player for Anderson this year and his sixth in his entire career. Wawrinka lost his second consecutive match against Anderson who won their previous head-to-head match last March at Indian Wells.
Dimitrov edged Robredo 7-5 5-7 6-4
The South African player had already beaten the Swiss star earlier this year in the third round in Indian Wells. Anderson will face Grigor Dimitrov in a re-match of the Acapulco final won by the Bulgarian player. Dimitrov battled past Tommy Robredo in three sets with 7-5 5-7 6-4. Robredo managed to break twice to recover from 1-4 down in the second set to force the match to the third set. Dimitrov clinched the third set on his second match point.
“It’s never easy when you play against Tommy. He is an unbelievable competitor. Even when I was up a set and 4.2 I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy”, said Dimitrov
Lopez upsets Berdych 3-6 6-3 6-4
Tomas Berdych was also surprisingly defeated by Feliciano Lopez who rallied from a set down to battle past the Czech player in three sets with 3-6 6-3 6-4.
On a day of close matches last week’s Washington champion Milos Raonic needed three sets to battle past Julien Benneteau 6-3 4-6 6-4.
(VIDEO) Novak Djokovic Makes Tearful Tribute To Mentor Kobe Bryant After Australian Open Win
The world No.2 pays his respect to ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time’ on the Rod Laver Arena.
World No.2 Novak Djokovic shed tears following his quarter-final win over Milos Raonic after paying tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
The 16-time grand slam champion took to the Rod Laver Arena wearing a green zip-up top. On the top right of his jacket with Bryant’s initial along with the numbers 8 and 24. The jersey numbers Bryant worn throughout his 20-year NBA career with the LA Lakers. A love heart was also placed under the numbers on Djokovic’s top.
“’I don’t know what we could say. It really caught us by surprise.” An emotional Djokovic said during his on-court interview with John McEnroe on Tuesday.
‘He was one of the greatest athletes of all time, he inspired myself and many other people around the world. I had that fortune to have a personal relationship with him over the last 10 years.’
‘When I needed some advice and support, he was there for me. He was my mentor, my friend, it’s just heartbreaking to see what has happened to him and his daughter. It’s unbelievable.’
Bryant was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. As an athlete, he achieved numerous milestones. Including being named the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also a two-time Olympic gold medallist and played in 18 All Star Games.
Just days before Bryant’s death, Djokovic spoke about their friendship during an interview with ESPN. Praising him for the support he received during his elbow injury and fall in the rankings during 2017 and the start of 2018. Reflecting on the conversations the two have had, he said he received some ‘valuable guidance.’
“Kobe has been one of my mentors,” Djokovic told ESPN. “I’ve had several phone conversations with him and also of course when we see each other live in the past couple of years. When I was going through the injury with my elbow and struggling to mentally and emotionally handle all of these different things that were happening to me and dropping in the Rankings and then having to work my way up, he was one of the people who was really there for me to give me some very valuable advice and guidelines to kind of believe and trust in myself, trust the process that I’ll be back.”
Djokovic will play Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
The tribute can be watched below (from 00:30 to 01:40)
Dominic Thiem reaches his first quarter final at the Australian Open
Dominic Thiem eased past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 50 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open. Thiem has extended his winning streak to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Monfils.
He fought back from two sets to one down to beat Australia’s Alex Bolt in the second round, but he won eight of his past nine sets to advance to the quarter finals.
Thiem got two breaks in the first set and never faced a single break point in the entire match. The Austrian player converted his fourth break point after three deuces, as Monfils missed a backhand volley wide. Thiem started the third set with an early break in the first game, as Monfils hit an inside-out forehand wide from the middle of the court wide. Thiem won his next service games and held his final game at love.
Thiem will face Rafael Nadal in a re-match of last year’s Roland Garros final.
“I think that I played my best match so far at this year’s Australian Open. It’s a very good feeling. The score looks way easier than the match was. I think I was lucky to make an early break in each set and I was managing to hold my serve well. I am so happy because I am in the quarter final here for the first time”, said Thiem.
Alexander Zverev tops Andrey Rublev to set Australian Open quarter final against Stan Wawrinka
Alexander Zverev beat his friend Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the first time in his career and his third at Grand Slam level.
Zverev broke serve once in each set. The German player has not dropped a set at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.
Zverev ended Rublev’s 15-match winning streak. Rublev had not lost a match since October, winning four matches at the Davis Cup last November and back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.
In the opening set Zverev earned his first break at 3-3, as Rublev hit a forehand into the net. He held his serve to consolidate the break and wrapped up the first set after 29 minutes, when Rublev hit a crosscourt backhand wide.
Zverev started the second set with an immediate break in the first game of the second set and closed it out with a hold at love with an ace after 29 minutes.
Zverev broke serve for the third time in the match in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4, when Rublev made a groundstroke error, and sealed the win with a forehand volley.
“It feels amazing. I played some great matches against some great opponents. This is Andrey’s first loss of the season, having won two tournaments and getting through to the fourth round with unbelievable tennis. I have known Andrey since we were ten years old. I think he will be top 15, top 10 very soon. I am just happy and I hope I can continue”,said Zverev.
Zverev will face Stan Wawrinka in the quarter final. The German star beat Wawrinka twice in their previous two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.
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