Shanghai Rolex Masters SF
Stadium Court, 4:30 pm
An exciting semi-finals day is in store for the penultimate Masters event of the year and kicks off with top seed Novak Djokovic (Bio) playing the number seven seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Bio). Check out the Djokovic v Tsonga Head to Head.
Djokovic sailed through his first two rounds against Fabio Fognini and Marcel Granollers but had quite the test in his quarter-final matchup against Gael Monfils. He was twice broken in a first set that he eventually lost in a tiebreak but bounced back to take it in three with a vital break at 3-3 in the third helping him to a 6-7 6-2 6-4 victory. Monfils exploited the weakness of the Djokovic second serve, winning 11/17 return points in the first set but Djokovic improved this (and his first serve percentage) in the latter two sets, losing just 4/15 second serve points.
Meanwhile, Tsonga is still yet to lose a set after another straight sets victory. It was Florian Mayer that was defeated for the fourth time running, this time by a score of 6-2 6-3. He looks to be getting back to his best after a shaky couple of weeks since his return. Tsonga saved all four break points in the victory, three of which were at 0-40 when serving for the match in the second set.
The rivalry between Tsonga and Djokovic has seen a complete reversal from the early years of both players careers. While Djokovic leads it currently at 10-5, Tsonga dominated the early encounters after losing their first meeting in the Australian Open Final of 2008 in four sets. He dominated Djokovic on indoor hard courts winning the next four before the Serbian took charge.
A five setter in the 2010 Australian Open would be the last time Djokovic lost to Tsonga with the World No.2 taking the next eight meetings. Many of them have been one-sided but Tsonga will be ruing their French Open 2012 clash where he held four match points in the fourth set but would fail to convert on each occasion and collapsing in the fifth of the 6-1 5-7 5-7 7-6 6-1 loss.
Djokovic now has the edge in this matchup on all surfaces and should earn his ninth straight victory to move into his third straight final and his seventh of the year.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in straight sets