Does Novak Djokovic even break a sweat these days? We thought, with Gael Monfils (above l. with Djokovic), who is a human backboard as his opponent last night, that perhaps the king would work up a lather. Not the case. Djokovic made it a perfect 7 for 7 against Monfils, who could not even call upon any extra energy from a French crowd, on his way to a 6-2, 6-1 complete drubbing that saw The Djoker get off court in little more than an hour.
How exactly is the kid doing it? Well, making matters even more difficult and impressive, he is not even doing it with his serve. A rusty Djokovic was broken in 2 of his first service games in Canada in his 2nd round contest with Nikolay Davydenko, who has as favorable a matchup as any with the world’s new entrenched no. 1. Djokovic was down 4-1 in the blink of an eye to the shady, scandalous Russian, before turning that set around and leaving him in the dust. Djokovic then made short shrift of Marin Cilic, before annihilating Monfils, despite hitting only one ace in that match. This guy’s game is so solid that he doesn’t need to win any free points against a guy who can virtually rally back and forth all day, essentially throwing Monfils a bone at 6-2, 5-0 to prevent another bagel. Djokovic has dispensed a stunning 9 bagels this year, and is now 51-1, looking for number 52 tonight against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.
Nadal, even at the top of his form, was not dominating people like this on a neutral surface, with these type of score lines. Federer? He was in 2005 and 2006 so watch what you see here closely. This is the best tennis played anywhere in 5 years.
Tonight, Tsonga will try to get a set off Djokovic. If he is successful, it will be the first set taken off Djokovic this week, and only the 4th set The Djoker has dropped this summer. Tsonga did get a set off of him in the Wimbledon semi. Bravo. And Tsonga is 5-3 lifetime in the head to head, but you can throw that out the window. At this moment in time, Djokovic is unbeatable. We don’t think we’ve ever had occasion to say that about anyone.
Rogers Cup Mens Semi-final — 8:00 PM EST (Montreal)
Novak Djokovic: – 500
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: + 350
Rogers Cup Ladies Semi-final — 6:30 PM EST (Toronto)
Serena: – 140
Azarenka: + 110
Serena: – 130
Serena has had a gutty week with 2 consecutive comeback wins that weren’t handed to her. She had to figure both matches out and did, and both took over 2 hours. It’s a lot of tennis for our girl, but she may have played down to the level of her opponents, which may seem crazy, since both ladies, Zheng and Safarova, played unreal matches. But neither is a major threat to win hardware. Azarenka is, and she has Serena’s full attention. Serena leads the series 4-1, but we know she has a healthy respect for the one dimensional but hard hitting Belarussian, now number 4 in the world.
It’s not often that you will see a – 130 next to Serena’s name. Probably worth jumping all over either way. In her comeback, she’s shown that same ability she has always had to come from behind, so she could get out slow and still win. Or, she could come out on fire and walk. Does Azarenka have a shot? It’s hard to say she doesn’t. She’s probably the best calibre of opponent Serena’s faced since last year. But that doesn’t mean she’s worth chancing here.