Novak Djokovic brought Jeremy Chardy’s week-long love affair with Montreal to a chastening conclusion as he advanced to the final of the Rogers Cup with a clinically efficient straight-sets win.
Djokovic brushed aside the challenge of the unseeded Frenchman, dropping just 10 points in as many service games en route to a 6-4, 6-4 victory in one hour and 20 minutes. The wonder was that Chardy, who staved off seven match points during a gruelling three-hour quarter-final win against John Isner the previous day, managed to keep the world No 1 on court that long.
Bravery and brinkmanship propelled the 49th-ranked Chardy to his first Masters 1000 semi-final – the Frenchman also survived match points against Leonardo Mayer of Argentina in round two – and his heroics had endeared him to the local crowd.
But Djokovic, fresh from his own feat of escapology after denying Ernests Gulbis two match points in the last eight, was in no mood for sentiment. In wounded lion mode from the outset, the world No 1 pounced on a pair of double faults from Chardy in the opening game and never looked back, making just nine unforced errors overall to his opponent’s 24.
“Novak, at the moment, is the best,” said Chardy. “Every time I play against him, I have a lot of problems. He returns really well and forces you to make a difficult choice all the time.”
Djokovic, seeking his fourth Rogers Cup title, will face the winner of the second semi-final, between Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori, on Sunday.
“I didn’t allow Jeremy to find his forehand too much,” said the Serb, whose victory extended his unbeaten run in Masters 1000 events to 30 matches.
“One break per set was enough to win the match. I could have done some things better, but a win is a win.”
This article was written by Les Roopanarine, for theguardian.com on Sunday 16th August 2015 01.16 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010