Frenchman on song
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:09
Tsonga, 23, looked like he was heading for a third straight defeat in Shanghai after being blown away in the first set, but brilliantly fought back to win in one hour and 38 minutes.
World number three Djokovic, 21, had already secured his place at the top of the gold group and in the last four with wins over Juan Martin del Potro and Nikolay Davydenko.
Australian Open champion Djokovic beat Tsonga to win his maiden grand slam in Melbourne at the start of the year before the Frenchman gained revenge in Bangkok and also on his way to his win in Paris, which secured the world number seven his trip to China.
After winning a successful challenge at 30-15, Djokovic grabbed an early break and a 2-0 lead as Tsonga duffed an attempted drop shot into the net.
Djokovic needed an ace, his first of the match, on second serve in the next game to hold before establishing a 4-1 lead.
The Serbian grabbed another break after Tsonga let slip a 30-0 lead and missed a straightforward overhead at game point before serving out to take the first set in a quickfire 26 minutes after nailing a passing shot down the line which was too good for the Frenchman.
Tsonga almost played himself into a position to break for 3-1 at the start of the second set, but following two brilliant shots which highlighted his athleticism and reactions, Djokovic fought back from 0-30 down to level at 2-2.
The Frenchman fought off two break points in the next game, and at 6-5 broke Djokovic with his first set point, as the Serbian sent a wayward forehand long, to take the second set in 47 minutes.
In the decider, Tsonga grabbed an early break to take a 3-0 lead before another quickly followed as he wrapped up the third set in 25 minutes to seal the emphatic comeback.