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Steely Djokovic fells Tsonga, tops rankings

posted 1 Jul 2011, 09:29 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 1 Jul 2011, 09:31 ]

Novak Djokovic beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets to go through to the Wimbledon final and take over from Rafael Nadal as world number one.

LONDON, UK (JULY 1, 2011) AELTC - 
Novak Djokovic overcame the acrobatic brilliance of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach his first Wimbledon final and secure the world number one ranking with a dramatic 7-6 6-2 6-7 6-3 victory on Friday (July 1).

The Serbian made a lacklustre start and was broken in the first game but he worked his way back into the set with

effective if unspectacular play and was rewarded when Tsonga lost his way in the 10th game and surrendered the tiebreak 7-4.

"This is one of those moments where you can't desribe it with words and you remember all your career, all your childhood, everything you worked for, it comes true now," the

second seed said after the match.

Several athletic encounters at the net, with Tsonga diving around and playing shots practically on his knees, spiced up the semi-final and entertained the crowd with scenes rarely witnessed at the grass grand slam since Boris Becker's pomp.

Tsonga's powerful hitting from his shock last-eight win over six-times champion Roger Federer melted away, though, under the sun in the second set as Australian Open champion Djokovic produced a few touches of flair to romped through it.

The third set appeared to be heading the same way before the French 12th seed, cheered on by the Centre Court crowd, suddenly found a second wind to break for 4-4 but Djokovic hit back for 6-5 only to lose his serve immediately.

The tiebreak swung both ways and Djokovic wasted two matchpoints before Tsonga, the 2008 Australian Open runner-up, overcame problems at the net to take it 11-9 and spark an array of fist-pumping all around the arena.

Djokovic has not been at his very best all tournament but powered ahead in the fourth set with a break to love for 2-0

when Tsonga's radar again faltered.

He sealed victory with a fierce service winner and screamed with delight before sinking to his knees and kissing the grass.

"I think today I played well, I can beat everybody today but not Djokovic because he just played unbelievable, he was everywhere," Tsonga said.

Djokovic faces champion Rafa Nadal or Briton Andy Murray in Sunday's final knowing he will be the top-ranked player in the world for the first time when the list is published on Monday irrespective of whether current number one Nadal wins the


The 24-year-old, who won 41 matches in a row from the start of the year before losing to Federer in the French Open

semi-finals, will also become the first Serb to be men's world number one.