INDIAN WELLS, California — World No.1 Novak Djokovic swatted aside Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 6-1 yesterday to book a semi-final berth at the Indian Wells Masters.
The Serbian star, who followed up his fourth Australian Open title in January with an ATP triumph in Dubai, took just 54 minutes to beat eighth-seeded Frenchman Tsonga.
He awaits the winner of the day's other quarter-final between world No.3 Andy Murray and seventh-seeded Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro.
Murray is playing his first tournament since falling to Djokovic in a gritty four-set final at the Australian Open.
His run in Melbourne was preceded by a title in Brisbane as the Scot built on a stellar 2012 season that included Olympic singles gold in London and a US Open triumph.
If he can make it to the final at Indian Wells, he will overtake Roger Federer for No.2 in the world rankings, after the defending champion was ousted in the quarter-finals on Thursday by a resurgent Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic didn't drop a point in four service games in the second set against Tsonga.
No sooner had the world's top player given himself triple match point with a pair of aces and the demoralised Frenchman casually knocked a backhand wide.
"I definitely feel happy about the performance today," Djokovic said. "I thought Jo didn't play his best -- his serve wasn't going well and that made life easier on court."
Tsonga double faulted to give Djokovic the first break chance of the match in the fifth game. In the next rally, Djokovic unleashed a low backhand that Tsonga could only smack into the net.
But Tsonga said his own errors were a bigger problem than anything Djokovic did.
"I did a lot of mistakes," Tsonga said. "It was tough for me to keep the ball in the court. Not because he put me under a lot of pressure ... Everything I tried to do, I missed it."