Djokovic had been taken to three sets in the first round by Fabio Fognini of Italy, before defeating Andy Roddick of the USA comfortably 6-2, 6-1 in round two. He then faced another former Wimbledon champion in the shape of Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt and eventually overcame him, again in three sets 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Tsonga had defeated Brazil’s Tomaz Bellucci in three sets in the first round, before being involved in the longest ever Olympic tennis match in round two, eventually beating Milos Raonic of Canada 6-3, 3-6, 25-23. There were fears the Frenchmen would be suffering fatigue when he faced Spain’s Feliciano Lopez, but he overcame the Spaniard 7-6, 6-4 to set up the showdown with Djokovic in the last eight.
It was to be the second seed Serbian who stamped his authority on the match by breaking Tsonga in just the second game. Djokovic broke the Frenchmen again in game six to serve out the first set and win it 6-1 in just over 30 minutes.
Tsonga was being let down by his first serve percentage and was making more unforced errors than his opponent, but he was to dig deep to break Djokovic in the second game of the second set. However, the second seed broke back in the fifth game and the set seemed destined for a tie break. With the scores level at 5-5, Djokovic made the crucial break of serve and was strong enough to see out the game for a 6-1, 7-5 victory to progress to the Semi-Final to face Great Britain’s Andy Murray.