Jo Wilfred Tsonga vs. Novak Djokovic: Semi Finals Wimbledon 2011 Preview
The threat of Jo Wilfred Tsonga has multiplied manifold after he defeated Roger Federer in the quarter final. Novak Djokovic was quoted as judging his opponent as “very dangerous”. Even though the epithet is very fitting for Tsonga, Djokovic would be relieved in some manner that he is not going to face Federer. The Serb was defeated by Roger Federer this year at the French Open semi-final when he was on verge of a historic victory streak. This match-up against Tsonga will be an engagement between binaries such as strength vs. skill, power vs. poise and spirit vs. determination.
Tsonga’s victory against Federer must have filled him with a new-found confidence. The fact that he defeated a six-time champion and holder of 16 grand slams at a stage as big as the Wimbledon is, must induce within him a belief that he can go all the way. At the same time, there is slight threat of complacency. Tsonga may well be inclined to look at his achievement as something that has finality, and when there is no hunger there is no performance. In the aftermath of that incredulous victory, Tsonga will face another test of character against Novak Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic will have the upper hand in the match against Tsonga inspite of the recent rise in the latter’s fortunes. Tsonga was the first to admit that as he pointed out how Djokovc has got the better of him on big occasions. Tsonga said, “I played against him many times. He beat me all the time in the big moments, and I want change it. That’s it.” In order to bring about this change, Tsonga will have to be mentally tougher more than anything.
Both the players possess contrasting styles and physique. The lanky and broad shouldered Tsonga possesses a great serve which rattled Federer in the quarter finals. He does not give away many break points and goes through with his ground strokes flawlessly. On the other hand, Novak Djokovic is slower but more accurate. He plays better off the baseline and is consistent. The ability to focus throughout the match and compete for every point helps Djokovic put pressure on the opponent.
The Serb has been consistently good at the grand slam events and would be hoping to go all the way for once. Djokovic was off the mark in the quarter-final match against Tomic as he lost one set and looked uncomfortable. At one point he was 1-3 down in the third set after losing the second. That will be punished when he takes court against Tsonga and thus guarding against it is crucial.
Djokovic stressed on the role that mental strength will play ahead of this match, He said, “Yeah, just the feeling. There is not much you can do on the practice. It’s just mentally to kind of, you know, readjust the strokes, just work a little bit on the serve, and hope that it can go well.”