Djokovic beats Tsonga to reach 1st Wimbledon final, earn No. 1 ranking

Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

WIMBLEDON, England — Novak Djokovic reached his first Wimbledon final and claimed the No. 1 ranking by defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-7 (9), 6-3 Friday in a match filled with diving shots by both players on the grass of Centre Court.

Djokovic, a two-time Australian Open champion, improved his record to 47-1 this year. And although he won another Friday, it was Tsonga who entertained the crowd with his tennis skills and showmanship.

In the final, Djokovic will face either defending champion Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray.

Djokovic will replace Nadal as the top-ranked player on Monday, but reaching the final at the All England Club was a relief after losing twice at the same stage.

After Tsonga’s return on match point sailed out, Djokovic dropped to the ground and lay on his back. A few seconds later, he knelt down and kissed the grass.

“It’s hard to express your emotions in a very short time but hopefully some more celebrations are about to come,” said Djokovic, who also beat Tsonga in the 2008 Australian Open final.

Djokovic started the season by winning 41 straight matches, but he lost to Roger Federer in the French Open semifinals. Since then, he is 6-0, with all those victories coming at the All England Club.

“I’ve been working all my life for this,” Djokovic said. “I’ve been dreaming about playing the finals of Wimbledon since I started playing tennis when I was 4. To be able to be there on Sunday will probably be the best feeling.”

However, Tsonga, didn’t make this one easy. The 12th-seeded Frenchman went to the turf several times to knock balls back over the net, some landing in and some going long.

Twice in the third set, both players landed on the grass during the same point.

At 1-1 with Tsonga serving, the Frenchman dived to send the ball back toward Djokovic. The Serb then dived to hit a backhand across the net while Tsonga scrambled to his feet just in time to dive again and push a forehand long.

In the seventh game, Djokovic dived to hit a forehand, but Tsonga did the same, sending a forehand winner back over the net.

There were more theatrics in the first set.

With Tsonga up a break and serving while leading 3-2, the two players volleyed the ball back and forth until Tsonga dived and hit winner.

As Djokovic clapped his hand on his racket to acknowledge the acrobatic play and the crowd applauded, Tsonga turned to the Royal Box — which included former Wimbledon champions Bjorn Borg and Goran Ivanisevic — and stretched out his arms to roaring cheers.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Nathan Walker waits to take the ice during the Capitals' development camp at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Monday, July 9, 2012. (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times)

    Nathan Walker’s NHL dreams send him around the world

  • Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon, third from left, smiles as he warms up with his teammates who were were wearing t-shirts in support of him for the All Star game before an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Anthony Rendon not an All-Star, but he’s been Nats’ MVP

  • Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter speaks during a media availability in the dugout before an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    LOVERRO: Suck-up Buck Showalter needs history lesson

  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Celebrities In The News
  • Hall of Fame Inductees, KISS, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Gene Simmons, and Ace Frehley speak at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Thursday, April, 10, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    KISS rocker Gene Simmons touts 1 percent life: ‘It’s fantastic’

  • This image from video released by Funny Or Die shows President Obama, left, with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on "Between Two Ferns," the digital short with a laser focus on reaching people aged 18 to 34. The president urged young people to sign up for the new health care plan through an appearance posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014, on the comic website Funny or Die, bypassing TV talk show titans like Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel for an online audience. (AP Photo/Funny Or Die)

    Obama’s ‘Ferns’ interview gets Emmy nod

  • ** FILE ** In this Nov. 12, 2013, file photo, actor Alec Baldwin leaves court in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    Alec Baldwin in talks to play Rob Ford-like mayor in new NBC drama