Shanghai (AP): Novak Djokovic captured the ninth title of his impressive season with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final of the Shanghai Masters on Sunday.
The top-seeded Serbian player extended his winning streak to 17 straight matches dating back to his championship run at the U.S. Open. He has also won 22 consecutive sets.
Tsonga came into the match leading the tournament with 64 aces, but Djokovic returned so effectively, he broke the Frenchman three times and held him to zero aces in the opening set.
Tsonga played more aggressively in the second set, but still had to fight off five break points until Djokovic was finally able to convert on his sixth when the Frenchman double-faulted while serving at 4-all. Djokovic then served out the match in the next game.
"Today, there is nothing to say. He's playing a lot better than everybody," Tsonga said. "You have to be in your best shape to beat him anyway, and everybody knows that it's not easy to play your best tennis every match."
Djokovic has traditionally played well during the two-week China swing following the U.S. Open when other players are either nursing injuries or tired after a long season. He captured his sixth title in six appearances at the China Open in Beijing last week and added a third title at the Shanghai Masters.
He has a perfect 10-0 record in China finals, including his victory at the 2008 Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.
Djokovic has plenty of fan support here, as well, with Serbian-flag waving fans packing the stadium for his matches and, as he related this week, even giving themselves Serbian names and learning the Serbian national anthem.
Djokovic thanks them for their support by writing a different Chinese character on the courtside television camera after each match and even trying some Mandarin in his victory speech.