Honeymoon over as Djokovic crashes to Tsonga


TORONTO: World number one Novak Djokovic slumped to a lacklustre 6-2, 6-2 defeat to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Toronto Masters third round on Thursday and was joined at the exit door by third-seeded doubles partner Stan Wawrinka.

Newly-married Djokovic, who needed almost three hours to get past Gael Monfils in his opening tie this week, looked under-prepared against Tsonga, the powerful French 13th seed.

Wimbledon champion Djokovic finished with 18 unforced errors and dropped serve four times.

Tsonga saved a break point in the final game of the 63-minute rout, with the heavy hitter pounding over a serve which Djokovic could not handle on match point.

Djokovic came to Canada having won five of the last six Masters events he had contested.

Thursday’s loss was only his fifth of the season against 38 wins.

“I didn’t play even close to what I intended before going to the court, just nothing was going — no baseline, no serve, no return,” said Djokovic.

“It was just generally very bad day, very poor performance. I couldn’t do much.

“Obviously I feel disappointment, and I’m trying to understand what I did wrong. Confidence is the hardest thing to get but easiest thing to lose. Matches like this can really play with your mind.

“But in the end of the day, it’s not the first match and last match that I lost in my career.

“I didn’t feel exhausted or something like that, but even in the first match (against Monfils) I was not feeling very comfortable on the court. I wasn’t hitting the ball clean and a lot of unforced errors.

“It’s maybe a lack of matches on this surface, it’s going to be better, I’m sure. This has to be the worst. I’m going to practise the next few days and try to get as many hours as I can playing points as well on the practice courts and get ready for Cincinnati (next week’s Masters tournament).”

The victory marked the third time that Tsonga had beaten a world number one after putting out Rafael Nadal at Queen’s three years ago and defeating Roger Federer in Canada in 2009.

Tsonga also fired eight aces in victory and next plays Andy Murray who made the quarter-finals without hitting a ball when scheduled opponent Richard Gasquet, the French 12th seed, withdrew with an abdominal strain.

“For me today it was great, I played a good match,” said Tsonga.

“I was in good condition from the start, I served pretty well. I was pretty aggressive, it’s something positive for me.

“When you play against Novak you know it’s going to be difficult. Even if the score today seemed easy, it’s never easy against him.”

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson beat Australian Open champion Wawrinka 7-6 (10/8), 7-5.

“It was an okay match, for sure, but it’s tough to lose that one,” said Wawrinka, who will now head for the Cincinnati Masters next week, his final tune-up for the US Open which gets under way on August 25.

“In general he served really well. It was tough to return, a little bit windy.

“But I had some chances, especially in the first set. I had set point and two, three times Love-30. It was more about choosing the right shot to play. I made some mistakes that I shouldn’t have.”



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