Brutal Djokovic sinks Tsonga
9:29pm Monday 30th June 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Novak Djokovic marched into the quarter-finals of Wimbledon with an intimidating show of strength to floor Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets.
Tournament favourite Djokovic demonstrated his title credentials with a commanding 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7/5) dismissal of the French 14th seed.
Djokovic will tackle Marin Cilic in the last eight, after the Croatian 26th seed eased past Jeremy Chardy in straight sets.
The six-time grand slam winner is bidding to avenge last year's straight-sets defeat to Andy Murray in the final, with his comfortable progression on Monday underlining his increasing resolve.
Tsonga admitted heading into his Djokovic showdown that only increased clashes with tennis' big four will help him crack the sport's highest echelons.
The Le Mans native was never in the races in the first two sets, though, and failed to convert two break points when the score was locked at 4-4 in the final set.
Djokovic let out a visceral roar after fending off those two break points to hold his serve, before the third set moved into a tie-break.
On match point the Serbian world number two whipped a brilliant backhand cross-court winning service return - before outstretching his arms and nodding his head in coach Boris Becker's direction.
The ball was called out, but Hawk-Eye showed it had touched the line, and Djokovic was through.
Djokovic showed no ill effects after damaging his shoulder in a heavy fall in third-round action, and reported a clean bill of health after seeing off Tsonga.
"I'm feeling good, I've had two days off to recover," he said.
"He started to serve really well towards the end of the third set, so it was important to hold for 4-4."
Djokovic said he cannot take his record of nine straight victories over Cilic for granted when the two meet in Wimbledon's last eight.
"It plays maybe a little bit in my advantage mentally, but not significant," said Djokovic.
"He has improved a lot since he started working with (coach) Goran Ivanisevic, especially his serve.
"He knows how to play on grass, has nothing to lose, so I have to be ready. But we'll both look forward to it I'm sure."
Djokovic admitted relief at denying Tsonga a fourth set and the chance to feed off the crowd - and also the benefit of Centre Court's roof not playing havoc with his schedule.
The Belgrade native labelled the All England's Club's tradition of no play on the middle Sunday as outdated.
Djokovic admitted sympathising with Stan Wawrinka's frustrations at a re-jigged schedule that could see him play five matches in seven days.
Wawrinka breezed through his third-round match on Monday - two days late after Saturday's rain delays.
Djokovic admitted he benefited from his Centre Court scheduling, and called on Wimbledon bosses to alter the middle-Sunday tradition in future years.
"I'm just glad that I didn't allow him to go into the fourth set, because he started to use obviously the crowd support," he added.
"I knew he was going to do that because he's the kind of player that feeds off the energy, so it was very important for me to get this done in straight sets.
"In my own case yes, I have benefited, no interruptions, played the whole match under the roof, didn't think about the rain.
"This is advantage of being scheduled on Centre Court.
"But I understand why Wawrinka was complaining, because, you know, we have this tradition here of the middle Sunday not being played any match.
"This tradition was broken a couple of times, and I remember a few years ago it was the case when they actually had to play a few matches.
"So we have to rethink about this Sunday in between, because the day was beautiful. It was no rain, and the whole day there was no match played.
"No other grand slam has this particular rule.
"We all know that tradition is something that is nurtured here at the All England Club, and we respect that.
"But there are some rules that I believe should be updated, changed, for the better of the schedule and for the better of the players."