Tsonga sets up Djokovic clash in Montreal
Novak Djokovic blasted Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-1 off the court to ease into the semi-finals.
Montreal: Novak Djokovic's reign as world number one remained unblemished as the Serb blasted Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-1 off the court to ease into the semi-finals of the Montreal Masters on Friday.
Djokovic's win extended his season record to a spectacular 51-1 and leaves him on course to become the first to win a title on debut as the world's top-ranked player since Pete Sampras in 1993.
It has also set the scene for an intriguing showdown with another Frenchman in Jo Wilfried Tsonga, who earlier delighted the centre court crowd with his 6-4, 6-4 win over eighth-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro.
"I have played the best match of the tournament, no doubt," Djokovic, who has not dropped a set at the event, told reporters.
"I played really, really fast and tried to constantly put pressure on Gael because I didn't want to give him any time to get back into the match or to think about what he's going to play.
"Overall the performance was fantastic."
The other semi-final will see American Mardy Fish take on Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic.
Fish finished strongly to beat Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-7, 6-0 while Tipsarevic booked his spot with an upset win over seventh-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4.
Djokovic came into his meeting boasting a 6-0 record over Monfils and quickly gained the upper hand. He broke the wiry Frenchman to lead 4-2 and finished off the set with another break before surging to 5-0 in the second.
"He was certainly the best Novak I ever met," said Monfils, who was despatched in a tidy 73 minutes.
"Today he was too strong.
"I played well, I hit the ball hard but I never had any solution to finish off a point.
"I was hitting beautiful rallies but at the end of those long rallies, he was always hitting the winner."
The powerfully built Tsonga, who has been in superb form and upset two-time champion Roger Federer in the third round, was never threatened by Almagro and celebrated his victory over the frustrated Spaniard with a leaping pirouette.
American Fish, who had failed to win a match in two previous appearances at Montreal, had a tougher ride and was far from dominant in an error-strewn match that failed to produce the best in either player.
Fish broke Wawrinka three times to grab the opening set but neither player could land their serve in an ugly second set featuring eight service breaks -- four by each player.
Wawrinka battled to forced the match to a decider after taking the tiebreak 10-8 but promptly fell flat as Fish steamrolled his way to the win.
"The second set was very strange for both of us," Fish said. "We couldn't hold serve to save our lives but we returned really well ... There's the positive, I guess."
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