Shanghai Flashback: Novak Djokovic wins third title within four years

Novak Djokovic ousted Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2015 Shanghai Masters final

by Jovica Ilic
Shanghai Flashback: Novak Djokovic wins third title within four years
© Lintao Zhang / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic lost his Shanghai Masters crown to Roger Federer in 2014. Djokovic regained it in 2015, celebrating in China for the third time in the previous four years. Novak met Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final and scored a dominant 6-2, 6-4 triumph in 68 minutes, lifting his 25th Masters 1000 crown and leaving Roger Federer on 24.

Djokovic and Tsonga played their 20th duel, and the Serb secured his 14th victory. Novak served at 71% and dropped seven points behind the initial shot, losing serve once and keeping the pressure on the other side. Jo-Wilfried was far from that pace, playing against 13 break points and experiencing four breaks to finish runner-up.

They had a similar number of winners, and Novak tamed his shots more efficiently. He counted eight unforced errors, while Jo-Wilfried hit almost 30 to spoil his chances for a better result. Also, Djokovic dominated the shortest and mid-range exchanges, outplaying Tsonga in the second set's closing stages to secure his 17th victory in a row.

Novak Djokovic won the third Shanghai crown in the last four seasons in 2015.

Novak broke in the encounter's first game to boost confidence and closed the second game with three winners to cement his lead in front of legendary Rod Laver.

Tsonga could not find his range or grab free points with serve alone. He suffered another break in the third game after a loose drop shot that refused to pass the net. The Frenchman pulled one break in the fourth game to get his name on the scoreboard.

However, he got broken at love a few minutes later to fall 4-1 down. Serving to stay in the set at 2-5, Jo-Wilfried fended off four set points to prolong the action after a forehand down the line winner. Novak secured the opener with four winners in the next one for 6-2 after 30 minutes, hoping for more in set number two.

Tsonga saved a break opportunity in the second set's third game with a service winner and brought it home with another to stay ahead and find some rhythm, unlike the opening set. He had to dig deep in the fifth game, repelling two break points with a couple of winners and moving 3-2 ahead with another unreturned serve that he lacked in the match's first part.

On the other hand, Novak lost just one point in the opening four service games, creating enough room to push on the return. He waited for a chance, and it finally came at 4-4 after a risky second serve and a double fault that sealed Tsonga's fate.

Serving for the trophy in game ten, Djokovic fired three winners to complete another perfect week and conquer his ninth ATP title of the season.

Novak Djokovic Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Shanghai Masters