Monte Carlo – semifinals

2nd semifinal:
(1)Novak Djokovic d. Fabio Fognini    6-2, 6-1    [0:52 h]

djokovic_mc13_A bridge too far for the flamboyant Italian. He picked off all the munition in his previous matches and facing the best player in the world he was utterly helpless. Actually it was a warm-up for Djokovic before meeting with Nadal. The leader of the ATP ranking limited his game to solid ground-strokes and it was good enough to break Fognini in every game when an opportunity appeared and hold seven service games with extreme ease – Fognini only once won two points as a receiver and it happened when he was 0/40 down. The Italian had been a crowd favorite the last couple of days, this time left the court being booed… “For me it was important to step on the court and get control of the match,” reflected Djokovic. “That’s what I did right away. I was aggressive. I knew what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to stay as short as possible on the court to get quick points. I played really, really well. He made a lot of unforced errors, which helped me to win.”

Match stats (total points: 54-26):
Djokovic: 10 service, 3 aces, 2 FH, 2 BH, 4 volleys, 1 overhead, 1 dropshot
Fognini: 5 service, 1 ace, 5 FH, 1 BH, 2 volleys, 2 overheads
Djokovic: 0 double faults, 4 FH, 6 BH
Fognini: 4 double faults, 12 FH, 14 BH
Break point conversions:
Djokovic: 4/5 (4 games)
Fognini: –

1st semifinal:
(3)Rafael Nadal d. (6)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga    6-3, 7-6(3)    [1:36 h]

Tsonga entered the match with career-best 5 match winning streak on clay. He had three break points leading 2:1, he was exceptionally close to build a nice advantage on the third break point when his forehand landed wide just by a couple of inches. It was a turning point, Tsonga lost his confidence nadal_mc13_since then, and the semifinal was going to be a disaster for him, similar to that he experienced in the Indian Wells quarterfinals against Djokovic. Nadal led *5:1 (30-all) in the 2nd set when Tsonga obtained two straight points with baseline winners. In the following game the Frenchman withstood a triple match point in a good style and unpredictable things happened: spectators began to cheer loudly for Tsonga, and Nadal seemed a bit shaky failing to serve out the match for the second time, and for the second time he couldn’t convert a match point on Tsonga’s serve (12th game). Decisive point of this match came at 3-all in the tie-break; Tsonga attacked the net with a strong forehand, but Nadal passed him down the line from a position only he is able to manufacture a winner. “I always try to be aggressive when I play him,” said Tsonga. “It’s the only way for me. If I stay back, there’s no way I can win. So I tried to do that. It is better to make it difficult for him like I did today in the end because then I can think maybe next time, if the conditions are better, I might do better.”

Match stats (total points: 77-62):
Nadal: 11 service, 3 aces, 10 FH, 6 BH, 1 volley, 1 overhead
Tsonga: 6 service, 4 aces, 14 FH, 3 BH, 8 volleys, 5 overheads, 1 dropshot
Nadal: 0 double faults, 14 FH, 7 BH
Tsonga: 1 double fault, 20 FH, 18 BH, 6 volleys
Break point conversions:
Nadal: 4/10 (6 games)
Tsonga: 2/7 (3 games)
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