ATP Beijing: Dear trophy, let’s switch places.
Not to be deterred by his loss in Thailand last week, Jo-Willy Tsonga managed to get his serve and forehand sorted out in Tokyo this week, winning his semifinal and final matches without being broken once.
I only saw the first set, but that was all I needed to see. Jo powered his way around the baseline, jumping in occasionally to mix things up. And the sight of Youzhny flourishing a backhand down-the-line still had me frothing at the mouth.
Despite some early chances for Mikhail, once Jo found the range on his serve in the 3rd game, it was all just one-way traffic. Jo wrapped things up 63 63 for his 3rd title this year and to edge him closer to a place in the YECs in London.
Hopefully this gives him a boost going into Shanghai, although I have my doubts about someone as prone to injuries as Tsonga playing 3 tournaments in consecutive weeks.
Also picking up his third title this year, Novak Djokovic took down Marin Cilic 62 76 for the shiny cauldron in Beijing.
I was afraid that after a huge upset yesterday, Marin would have a letdown and that was essentially the story of the first set.
Cilic came into the match with nowhere near the sort of pace and accuracy on his groundstrokes as he had against Nadal. Although Marin raised his level in the second set and had a chance to serve it out at 6-5, he promptly gave back the break with his first double fault of the match. And really, when you’ve only won 5/15 points on your second serve for the set, one would almost expect the untimely double fault.
All credit to Djokovic, who took exploited the Cilic second serve, and err … defended well, which seems to be the thing I’ve said the most consistently about his game this year.
As for next year? Watch out for him on clay.
Okay, so maybe I don’t want to switch places with that mother of a trophy.