10/7/12 3:55 PM | Ricky Dimon
Novak Djokovic defeats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets on Sunday to capture his third Beijing title in as many appearances. Djokovic is now 14-0 lifetime at the event.
Novak Djokovic won the China Open for the third time in three tries when he beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(4), 6-2 on Sunday afternoon. Djokovic needed one hour and 42 minutes to three-peat at a tournament for the fifth time in his career.
It was Tsonga, however, who came out firing. Beijing's No. 3 seed earned break points in each of his first three return games. After failing in two such games, Tsonga finally converted at 2-2 when his opponent struck an errant backhand. Djokovic, though, broke right back for 3-3 and from there both players held to a tiebreaker.
This time it was Tsonga's turn to recover from a deficit. Djokovic seized two straight mini-breaks for a 3-0 advantage only to eventually give both of them back and watch Tsonga serve on level terms at 4-5. In yet another momentum shift, the Frenchman double-faulted then dropped another service point to end the set.
That was mostly it for the final's drama. Tsonga did well to save two break points in the opening game of the second, but it was all but over when Djokovic broke for 2-1. The second-ranked Serb added another break for 4-1 and soon closed out the proceedings to love at 5-2.
"I think the first set was really even, and maybe a couple points decided the winner there," said Djokovic, who has four titles this season and 32 for his career. "We both had our chances aside those breaks that we converted. I managed to hold my nerves in the end. When you're getting to the second set with the set advantage, mentally it is much more encouraging for you and then you try to play on that confidence run that you have."
"I just tried to play my game, to be aggressive, but against a player like this, for the moment, my level is not high enough," Tsonga admitted. "And it's not enough to beat him.... I'm happy because I played good tennis here. It was a great tournament for me."
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