TORONTO – Top-ranked Novak Djokovic was upset by 13th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday in the Rogers Cup, falling 6-2, 6-2 in only 63 minutes in the third round.
Djokovic came in with 11 straight wins over Tsonga but was nowhere near adding a 12th.
“Just nothing was going,” Djokovic said. “No baseline, no serve, no return. So just generally (a) very bad day, very poor performance.”
Tsonga’s serve gave Djokovic plenty of trouble. The Frenchman had only eight aces, but Djokovic continually struggled to keep his returns in play.
Serving on match point, Tsonga won when Djokovic’s return went wide. Tsonga did some shadow boxing and jumped up and down before waving to a receptive crowd.
“It’s not every day you get the rewards of what you’re doing every day during the year,” he said. “You leave your family, practice every day hard, suffer a lot on the court. And when you win a match like this, you just feel good.”
Djokovic never looked comfortable in Toronto, his first tournament since winning Wimbledon last month. Four days later, he married his longtime girlfriend.
On Wednesday, Djokovic needed three tough sets to outlast Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-2) in the second round.
“I wasn’t hitting the ball clean and a lot of unforced errors,” said Djokovic, who beat Tsonga in the 2008 Australian Open final for his first major title. “It’s maybe (a) lack of matches on this surface and, well, it takes time. Let’s just say it’s going to be better, I’m sure.”
Tsonga will play eighth-seeded Andy Murray in the quarterfinals. Murray advanced when third-round opponent Richard Gasquet withdrew because of an abdominal strain.
Djokovic’s loss was the second big upset of the day. Third-seeded Stan Wawrinka lost 7-6 (10-8), 7-5 to Kevin Anderson.
Anderson will play seventh-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, a 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 winner over Tommy Robredo.
Fifth-seeded David Ferrer also was pushed to three sets in a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Ivan Dodig.
Canada’s Milos Raonic also advanced, beating Julien Benneteau of France 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. The sixth-seeded Raonic, coming off a tournament victory Sunday in Washington, will play Feliciano Lopez in the quarterfinals. The Spaniard beat Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Serena into quarters
Serena Williams waited out a brief rain delay before beating Czech left-hander Lucie Safarova 7-5, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup.
Having won her fourth title of the season last week in Stanford, this week’s progress continued Williams’ recovery since withdrawing from Wimbledon because of equilibrium problems.
“I served great,” said Williams, celebrating her 200th week at No. 1 in the world. “I needed to serve great because she was hitting unbelievable serves to me.”
Williams has won the Rogers Cup three times when it is held on alternate years in Toronto, including last year, but she had not played in Montreal since she retired from the final with an injury in 2000.
In the quarterfinals Friday, Williams will play Caroline Wozniacki, a 6-1, 6-0 winner over American qualifier Shelby Rogers.
“I felt really comfortable and confident,” Wozniacki said. “I served and returned well. She’s a tough player. She has some big shots. I was just able to neutralize them and play my game.”
The 11th-seeded Wozniacki, coming off a victory in Istanbul, has dropped only six games in three matches this week.
“It will be a great match,” said Williams, 6-1 against Wozniacki. “She’s playing great tennis. She’s really focused. It will be a good match to see where I am.”
In other matches, Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro upset fourth-seeded Maria Sharapova 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in a match delayed twice by rain, and Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova topped second-seeded Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.
“I couldn’t find my rhythm from the beginning of the match,” Sharapova said. “I always had my back against the wall, always had to come back.”
The 25-year-old Suarez Navarro won the Portugal Open in May for her first WTA Tour title. She will face the winner Venus Williams, who beat Angelique Kerber 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Makarova will play qualifier Coco Vandeweghe, a 7-6 (10-8), 2-6, 7-5 winner over seventh-seeded Jelena Jankovic.