Men’s Semi-Final Preview: Djokovic vs. Tsonga

Posted by Brodie under: Jo, Nole, SW19

30 Jun 2011

Djokovic’s Tournament So Far: Defeated Tomic, Llodra, Baghdatis, Anderson, Chardy.

What Djokovic Needs To Do: It’s been a bumpy ride through Wimbledon for Novak. Struggling with Baghs and Tomic after a couple of sets has tested Novak and forced him to raise his game despite some frustration. What is really going on here, no one can know. Is he physically tired? Mentally tired? Over confident after winning two sets? Tough to know. Regardless, Nole is going to be in tough against and is going to have to play his best tennis of the tournament.

I think the real key for Nole is just his head, but in terms of play, definitely his return and his backhand. Jo was able to exploit Fed’s backhand, both in rallies and on the return, and his cross court forehand was just deadly. Nole’s backhand is a lot better than Fed’s, and he’s also a better returner, which he will need with Jo’s serve being brutal this tournament.

Tsonga’s Tournament So Far: Defeated Federer, Ferrer, F. Gonzalez, Dimitrov, Soeda.

What Tsonga Needs To Do: Keep doing what you were doing! Jo’s level of play in the last 3 sets against Fed was absurd. The serve was crushing, he was looking to move in, looking to be aggressive, and then crushing the crap out of the forehand to boot.

One of the biggest problems I tend to have with Jo is his how he becomes so passive. Jo moves incredible well front to back, but not as well side to side. He also has a solid forehand in terms of power and his placement with it, but often chooses to just get the ball back with it a bit too much. When he beat Fed, he went for nearly every forehand, and because of that, was staying on the aggressive. It was insane. Jo absolutely needs to do that against Novak. He has the ability to dictate play, and he needs to be looking to do that every point. Novak is too solid not too.

If Jo can play like he did against Fed, he’ll win this tournament. I like him to win in 4 sets.

For those who missed it, I asked on Twitter for people to send in their thoughts on who would win both semifinals, and how many sets it would take. Here’s the results. Whoever correctly picked both winners and respective total set count will get a follow Friday! Here’s the results from this match.

Novak in 5: 6 total: @tenniswatch, @GVTennisNews, @ruthlesscourt, @EllieFM, @Daszmarreli, @emmaphickey
Novak in 4: 7 total: @DancingPanda1, @omes_tennis, @RacquetRequired, @mitchjos, @DiscoDebMKE, @Sheilokavieira, @anna_tennisfan
Novak in 3: 2 total: @marpal38, @r0si

Jo in 5: 5 total: @jeannab64, @delpotweeties, @BraveThinkSol, @AdjustingTheNet, @clairetennisfan
Jo in 4: 10 total: @nidssserz, @ljkingy, @omygravy, @jonscott9, @ember_42, @sharapovanovic, @Ms_Art_House, @elliejackson1, @zbrain, @MindTheRacket
Jo in 3: 3 total: @stephinNZ, @rosso_neri, @Daily_Scores

The Changeover Podcast:

Episode #56 – Indian Wells Wrap