Beijing, China (Sports Network) - Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were
semifinal winners Saturday and will meet for the title at the China Open.
The third-seeded Tsonga advanced first when Spain's Feliciano Lopez retired in
the second set with a left wrist injury. The Frenchman was ahead, 6-1, 4-1,
when Lopez called it quits.
Djokovic followed with a 6-1, 6-4 triumph over Germany's Florian Mayer to
reach his third final in Beijing. The top-seeded Serb previously won the title
in 2009 and 2010.
"I got off to a good start," said Djokovic, who improved to 3-0 lifetime
against Mayer, "then used that rhythm in the second set, which was close,
obviously, but I managed to make that key crucial break at 3-3, and then I
felt more comfortable."
Djokovic is 3-5 in finals this year, winning the Australian Open to start the
season before following with titles in Miami and Toronto. He also lost in
finals at Monte Carlo, Rome, the French Open, Cincinnati and the U.S. Open.
Tsonga has won twice this year, capturing titles in Doha to start the year and
Metz just two weeks ago. He is 9-5 lifetime in finals.
"I felt really good on the court," said Tsonga about Saturday's match. "I'm
just happy today with my game. I'm sure I will play good tennis in the final."
Tsonga has played Djokovic somewhat tough, winning five of the 12 all-time
meetings, but his last victory in the series came in the 2010 Australian Open
quarterfinals. Djokovic has won each of the three matchups this year, all
coming in quarterfinals (Rome, French Open and Olympics).
They've previously met twice in finals. Djokovic won the first, capturing the
first of his five Grand Slam titles by beating Tsonga in the 2008 Australian
Open final. Tsonga prevailed later that year in the Bangkok final.
Sunday's champ will earn $530,570.
The Sports Network