Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic will continue their long rivalry when they meet in the fourth round of the 2014 French Open. Djokovic leads the all-time series, 11-6.
Tsonga has absolutely cruised through his first three matches, sweeping all 12 sets and only needing two tiebreaks to do so. The toughest opponent Tsonga has beaten so far has been Jerzy Janowicz, who he defeated 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. Tsonga has been no stranger to success in the French Open, reaching at least the quarterfinals in two straight years. His powerful and heavy forehands make him a tough matchup on the clay surface, but Tsonga can also mix it up at times with a nice touch at the net. While he’s been a bit inconsistent at times, Tsonga seems to be in great form and is playing some of his better tennis as of late.
Not much to say about Djokovic, as he’s looking to reach at least the quarterfinals of the French Open for the fifth straight year. The only opponent who has given Djokovic some issues so far has been Marin Cilic, who won a third set tiebreak and pushed the match to four quick sets. Djokovic has not lost before the quarterfinals in a Grand Slam since losing the 2009 French Open in the third round to Philipp Kohlschreiber. As always Djokovic looks to be in great form and poised to make another run for a title.
While the head-to-head wins are close, majority of Tsonga’s victories came earlier in his career, as Djokovic has won the last seven meetings. Djokovic has also beaten Tsonga in their only two meetings on clay. It’s clear Tsonga is going to enter this matchup as an overwhelming underdog.
However, Cilic was able to give Djokovic trouble at times with a powerful serve and by being aggressive. Tsonga, of course, plays a similar style and can be overwhelming at times as well. I don’t think Tsonga is capable of winning this match, but I do like him to at least take a set in this match. It will be closer than expected.
Take Tsonga and the points.