Djokovic eases past Tsonga
Novak Djokovic will play Andy Murray on Wednesday at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after joining the Scot in winning his opening round-robin clash.
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Murray defeated Tomas Berdych at London's O2 Arena and Djokovic celebrated returning to world number one by defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7/4) 6-3.
The Serb overtook Roger Federer in the rankings on Monday to reclaim top spot four months after last holding it, and he is guaranteed to hold onto it until next year.
He was made to fight hard by seventh seed Tsonga, though, with the Frenchman in the ascendancy for much of the opening set.
He had three break points but could not take any of them and Djokovic capitalised in the tie-break, getting off to a fast start and not looking back.
The 25-year-old then grabbed the first break of the match in the opening game of the second set as Tsonga carried his frustration with him.
Djokovic had lost all four of his previous meetings with Tsonga on indoor courts but this was a seventh straight win over last year's runner-up for the top seed.
And it guaranteed a repeat of the US Open final in the next round of Group A matches, renewing the rivalry between Murray and Djokovic that has increasingly taken centre stage in recent months.
As well as their five-set classic in New York, the pair also played a brilliant three-set final in Shanghai, where Djokovic turned the tables, and the winner on Wednesday will have one foot in the semi-finals.
Djokovic admitted victory was important more than just in the context of this tournament, saying: "I had difficult circumstances (last week), some things I had to face.
"That's why this match tonight was very important for me mentally, to break the ice in some way, to return to the shape that I want to be in, the mental state, also to be confident and optimistic on the court and play my game.
"Hopefully I can carry this on to another match against Andy in two days."
Tsonga is playing his second tournament since hiring Lleyton Hewitt's former coach Roger Rasheed, but it was the same story for the Frenchman, whose record against other top-10 players this season dropped to one win from 14 matches.
He said: "Every time when I play against these guys I have some chances to win, or to be better anyway. So I will keep fighting and I'm sure I will play better tennis in the next few months. My passion for tennis is growing all the time."