LONDON Aug 2 Serbia's Novak Djokovic will get a
shot at adding to his medal collection after securing an Olympic
semi-final clash on Thursday against Britain's Andy Murray.
Number two seed Djokovic, who won singles bronze in Beijing,
defeated France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1 7-5 while Murray
cruised to a 6-4 6-1 win over injured Spaniard Nicolas Almagro.
Djokovic sped to an early lead against the exhausted
Frenchman, who had played both doubles and singles on Wednesday
after clocking up the longest three-set match in Olympic history
a day earlier, dropping just one game before wrapping up the
first set with an ace.
"Today I was a bit tired so it was mission impossible,"
Tsonga told reporters.
He mustered enough energy to put up more of a fight in the
second set, breaking the 25-year-old to go 3-1 up. But Tsonga
threw away the opportunity to break a second time and the
five-times grand slam winner levelled.
Serving for the match, Djokovic secured the win with an
"It was a great win for me. Tsonga is a great competitor and
he is a very powerful player from the baseline so, for me, the
right thing to do today was use my serve as efficiently as
possible in these windy, tough conditions," Djokovic said.
On Court One, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
commanded more of the press photographers' attention than the
match, third seed Murray took a 4-3 lead before powering four
aces in a row to force Almagro to serve to stay in the set.
The Spaniard held his nerve for one more game, before
sending a forehand long to give his opponent the set.
The royals quickly got into the spirit of things, taking
part in a Mexican wave which rippled round the crowd several
times as 11th-seeded Almagro received medical treatment on his
arm and shoulder.
When business got back underway Murray broke in the first
game of the second set, dropping just one game before wrapping
up the victory.
"Andy is the home hero," said Djokovic of his opponent who
reached the Wimbledon final this year.
"He has been playing better than ever on grass courts. I
will have to be at the top of my game."
(Editing by Ed Osmond)