Another fantastic match-up between world No. 2 Novak Djokovic and France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is scheduled to take place on Sunday afternoon in the fourth round of the French Open. This is the seventeenth time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional circuit, with Djokovic leading the head-to-head series 11-5. This is their first meeting since the Shanghai Masters last year.
Similar to Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic needed four sets to dispatch Marin Cilic and arrive at the fourth round in Roland Garros. The Serb won the match 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-4 in three hours and 11 minutes. He also struck a negative ratio of 22 winners to his 27 unforced errors.
“Physically I had to work very hard, because he was very aggressive,” said Djokovic. “It wasn’t easy, because once you start being passive, you lose kind of the confidence to step in. That’s what happened maybe in the end of the third and little bit of the fourth.
“In important moments I held my nerves and I’m very happy that I went through.”
- Djokovic is looking to win Roland Garros and become just the 8th man in history to complete the career Grand Slam after Andre Agassi, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Roger Federer, Rod Laver, Rafael Nadal and Fred Perry.
9 of Djokovic’s 44 career singles titles have come on clay, compared with 34 on hard court.
World No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga played an inspired match in his third round encounter with Jerzy Janowicz, as he sent the crowd into a frenzy on Court Susan Lenglen with his performance. The Frenchman hit 24 winners and 18 unforced errors to win 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 1 minute.
Next for Tsonga is a match-up against Djokovic, whom he has defeated on five occasions on the professional tour, but has also not come close to beating since the 2011 ATP Masters 1000 event in Paris. Tsonga’s biggest win against Djokovic came at the 2010 Australian Open, where he defeated him in a thrilling five set quarter-final match-up.
“With Novak, you have to fear him in many regards, but I will have to pay attention to myself,” said Tsonga. “I will have to be focused from the first point to the last point. I shouldn’t give him some free points. Of course, I have to produce a great match in order to defeat him.”
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Four Sets