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Live Commentary: Novak Djokovic 7-6(4) 6-3 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - as it happened

Live Commentary: Novak Djokovic 7-6(4) 6-3 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - as it happened
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live text coverage of Novak Djokovic's encounter with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the ATP World Tour Finals.

World number one Novak Djokovic had never beaten Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in an indoor encounter prior to tonight's meeting between the two players at the ATP World Tour Finals.

However, the Serb managed to end that losing streak in London thanks to an opening set tie-break success, before two breaks of Tsonga's serve in the second set sealed the victory in his favour.

Below is our minute-by-minute updates of how the match inside the O2 Arena unfolded.

7.33pmEvening all. Is there a better way to round off today's tennis action in London than watching the world's best player in action? No, didn't think so!

7.36pmHe may be the current number one, but as mentioned in the introduction Djokovic has never won this title at the O2 Arena. After the French Open, this is the biggest title that the Serbian is yet to win. Many view this now as the fifth Grand Slam so it's a trophy he will no doubt be looking to collect over the next seven days.

7.38pmThis match is not all about Djokovic though. In Tsonga, he faces a more than competitive opponent. Again, as highlighted above, Djokovic is yet to beat the Frenchman in their four indoor meetings.

7.41pmOverall though, the head-to-head record swings in Djokovic's favour. He has eight victories to Tsonga's five. In fairness to JWT, that is a decent return against someone of Djokovic's ability. There are not many players out there that can match that.

7.45pmI think the match that sticks in everyone's mind between these was the quarter-final clash at the French Open earlier this year. Djokovic won a fantastic five-set encounter, but that only tells half the story! Tsonga had FOUR match points and to be honest, he couldn't have done anymore. All four of those points Djokovic won, rather than Tsonga losing. A similar match tonight would do us nicely thank you very much!

7.48pmUnfortunately, these two players will still not be on court for a while yet. We are waiting for the doubles match between the Bryan brothers and Granollers/Lopez to end. They are currently battling it out in a champion tie-break.

7.51pmWhile we wait, let's look back on the other match in this group, which took place earlier today. US Open champ Andy Murray started slowly against Tomas Berdych and lost the opening set 6-3. He then faced three break points early in the second set. However, the Scot recovered to force a decider with a 6-3 success. Another break of Berdych's serve in the third set eventually saw Murray run out a 6-4 victor. You can read our report of that match here.

7.53pmAnd next time out Djokovic will take on Murray. Should Djoko win this one, that looks to be a battle for top spot in this group.

7.54pmAnyway, the doubles match is now over and we have had a shock! The Bryan brothers lost that tie-break 11-9 to the Spanish pairing. The American duo will now have to realistically win their remaining two matches to stand a chance of reaching the semi-finals.

7.56pmBack to Djokovic and I've just seen something that I don't recall ever witnessing before! Following his warm-up in the narrow corridors of the O2, the Serb is seen loosening off with his pet poodle Pierre! The dog then entered his owner's dressing room. Access all areas!

7.58pm"I feel great and happy to be back again. I hope I will bring my best tennis to the court. I've got to be patient and wait for my opportunity," Tsonga just told Sky Sports News

7.59pmMeanwhile, Djokovic has been talking up his opponent: "It's very important for both of us to start well. He's a big server and a very good mover. I'm going to try my best."

8.00pmThey are both now standing in the corridor (which always looks awkward) and are waiting to be introduced to the crowd...

8.01pmWorld number eight Tsonga is out first and he gets a great reception. He seems to be a favourite of the fans wherever he plays!

8.02pmBut unsurprisingly the cheer for Djokovic eclipses that! We've got two very popular figures lining up against each other tonight. I suppose either way the crowd wins!

8.04pmWe've just had the coin toss. Tsonga went tails but called it wrong. As a result, Djokovic will open the serving. A sign of things to come for Tsonga perhaps?

8.07pmOne thing that needs mentioning before this gets underway is Djokovic's mental state. It has been heavily reported that his father is seriously ill at the moment. It is also believed that Djoko is not too keen to discuss the situation. Some have claimed that is why he looked below-par in Paris last week. Will be interesting to see how he copes with his emotions today.

8.10pmThe warm-ups are almost complete. Both are just firing down a few last minute serves. Not long now until we are underway.

8.11pmRight, here we go. Djokovic will get the match started...

8.15pmWhat a start we've had to this match. Djokovic raced into a 40-0 lead, only for three unforced errors to level up the game at deuce. Tsonga is using the backhand slice to good effect at the moment.

8.15pmAnd now Tsonga has a break point. What a start this would be for him.

8.17pmDjokovic gets very lucky! His shot clips the top of net and just bounces down on Tsonga's side. We're back to deuce.

Djokovic 1-0* TsongaWhat an escape from Djokovic. He went off like an express train, but his serve then deserted him and Tsonga came back. Still, it was great character from Djoko to save a break point and then hold. If the rest of the match is like this we're in for a cracker.

Djokovic *1-1 TsongaClinical work from Tsonga in a game that included a 134mph serve. Djokovic actually returned that, only for Tsonga to produce a forehand winner. One all.

Djokovic 2-1* TsongaIt's a second hold for Djokovic but boy was he made to work hard for it. Tsonga only got himself up to 30, but he made it difficult for the Serb. We've already seen a lot longer rallies in this match then there was during Murray vs. Berdych earlier today.

Djokovic *2-2 TsongaSome dynamic tennis from Tsonga levels up the set. The turning point arrived at 15-15 when the Frenchman powered a forehand stroke across the court and away from Djokovic's reach. That seemed to inspire him and he flowed from there.

Djokovic 3-2* TsongaACE! The first ace of the match brings up a love game for Djoko. He didn't hang about there. Tsonga rarely got his racket to the ball!

Djokovic *3-3 TsongaThere is very little to separate these two at present as Tsonga holds. Neither has produced anything out of this world, it's just steady tennis. I guess that's got something to do with the fact it is the best of three sets. Losing the first one could be disastrous.

8.41pmWell, here's a chance for Tsonga. Having been 40-15, he has now battled back to deuce. Djoko is struggling to get pace on his serve at the moment.

8.41pmAnd then with a lightning bolt return of serve Tsonga brings up break point...

8.42pmWow! Just wide and I mean just! He tries to lift it over Djoko, who is at the net. The shot is the right one but the execution was lacking. Back to deuce.

Djokovic 4-3* TsongaI guess that is why Djokovic is regarded the best around. Again he digs himself out of hole with two shots that land on the baseline, leaving Tsonga little chance. JWT has now spurned two break points.

Djokovic *4-4 TsongaWell if I was a betting man I would be putting my money on this heading into a breaker. A fourth hold for Tsonga levels up proceedings and the duo are matching each other stride for stride.

Djokovic 5-4* TsongaDjokovic's forehand is now beginning to cause some damage. Three winners in that game leave Tsonga now serving to stay in the set. It's the first bit of pressure that he has had on him tonight.

Djokovic *5-5 TsongaWell Djokovic is not happy and you can understand why. From 40-0 down, he got it back to 40-30 in Tsonga's favour. It then looked as though he had forced deuce, only for HawkEye to show that Tsonga's deep shot had just clipped the line. Important hold for the Frenchman.

9.03pmTsonga has a break point as Djokovic hurts his thigh while diving. This is a big moment in this match. Will it be third time lucky for Tsonga?

9.04pmBut what a serve Djoko produces. Tsonga gets his racket to it, but he cannot get the ball back over the net. Deuce.

Djokovic 6-5* TsongaOnce again Djokovic battles back to save a break point and then hold. What's even more impressive is the fact that he was clearly shaken by that knock to his thigh. Pressure back on Tsonga. The best he can hope for now is a tie-break.

Djokovic 6-6 TsongaPressure? What pressure. That's a fantastic hold from Tsonga, who knew if he lost that game he was going to be a set down. As predicted, we're heading into a breaker...

Tie-break:Djokovic 1-0 Tsonga*

Tie-break:Djokovic 2-0 Tsonga*

Tie-break:*Djokovic 2-1 Tsonga

Tie-break:*Djokovic 3-1 Tsonga

Tie-break:Djokovic 4-1 Tsonga*

Tie-break:Djokovic 4-2 Tsonga*

Tie-break:*Djokovic 4-3 Tsonga

Tie-break:*Djokovic 5-3 Tsonga

Tie-break:Djokovic 6-3 Tsonga*

Tie-break:Djokovic 6-4 Tsonga*

Djokovic 7-6(4) TsongaSET! Tsonga attempts to play one down the line but it's too wide and Djokovic has the set!

9.19pmTsonga is bound to be bitterly disappointed with that. He had three break points before the breaker, but took none of them. In contrast, Djokovic had none and yet emerges the victor. It will be interesting to see if Tsonga can recover from that setback.

9.23pmDjokovic's tail is up. He's got a break point early in the second set...

9.24pmBut an emphatic smash from Tsonga wipes out his chances. It's really important for him that he doesn't lose his serve here otherwise it could be over very quickly.

Djokovic 7-6(4) *1-0 TsongaBREAK! But break he does and Tsonga only has himself to blame with an unforced error. Djokovic is now looking like a player who is full of confidence. Ominous signs for JWT

Djokovic 7-6(4) 2-0* TsongaIt's a relatively straightforward hold for Djokovic which is just what he would have wanted. Tsonga is not happy with himself and is beginning to mutter a lot. He simply must hold his next service game.

Djokovic 7-6(4) *2-1 TsongaAnd hold he does in some style! The backhand was really firing for Tsonga there. It was responsible for two of his points and that seems to have pumped him and the crowd up. It has to be said that it has gone a little quite inside the O2 Arena.

Djokovic 7-6(4) *2-1 TsongaAnd hold he does in some style! The backhand was really firing for Tsonga there. It was responsible for two of his points and that seems to have pumped him and the crowd up. It has to be said that it has gone a little quite inside the O2 Arena.

Djokovic 7-6(4) 3-1* TsongaEmphatic. That is the best way to describe Djoko's performance in that game. He didn't give Tsonga a sniff as he served out to love. He's now won eight straight points on his serve.

Djokovic 7-6(4) *3-2 TsongaAnother solid hold from Tsonga, but he needs a bit more than solid now. Djokovic is just three service games away from winning this one. Tsonga has shown he can get break points, he needs to convert them and soon!

Djokovic 7-6(4) 4-2* TsongaDjokovic is now in cruise control. He now has won 12 points in a row on serve. Time is running out for Tsonga, who has to hold here.

Djokovic 7-6(4) *4-3 TsongaTsonga is hanging on in there and it was a great piece of play from him there. He served out to love, with Djokovic having little answer to his powerful serves. Still, it remains a one-break set.

Djokovic 7-6(4) 5-3* TsongaDevastatingly direct tennis from Djokovic and he has now won 16 straight points on his serve. Worryingly for Tsonga fans, your man looks to have given up a little here. He's now serving to stay in the match.



9.53pmThe world number one is majorly delighted with that and so he should be. He improved greatly in the second set and it actually ended up being a relatively comfortable win for the Serbian. He tops the group ahead of Andy Murray because he won in straight sets, while Murray was taken the distance by Tomas Berdych.

9.55pm"It was important to start off well and I've done well when it was needed. It means a lot, every win does. Especially when you are playing in a tournament like this. You want to give this crowd something to cheer about," Djokovic tells Sky Sports News just before he leaves the court.

9.57pmJust a quick word on Tsonga. He is bound to be extremely disappointed, particularly where the first set is concerned. He had three break points, but took none of them. You can't afford to pass up those sort of opportunities against the likes of Djokovic and so it proved today! He now needs to beat Berdych and Murray to stand a realistic chance of reaching the semi-finals in London. It's a big ask indeed.

9.58pmThat's just about all we have time for this evening. Be sure to join us tomorrow because we will be bringing you live coverage of Roger Federer's clash with Janko Tipsarevic at around 1.45pm. See you then.

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