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Tennis
Clash of titans at Wimbledon final
Novak Djokovic will be the new world number one but right now the focus is on his final against Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon.
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2011 16:06
Nadal is looking to secure his third Wimbledon title after defeating home favourite Murray [EPA] 

Novak Djokovic reached his first Wimbledon final and guaranteed himself the world number one ranking by defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday.

In the final he faces current world number one (until Monday that is) Rafa Nadal who didn't let losing his top ranking stop him from annihilating Britain's Andy Murray in their semi-final.

Even if Nadal wins the Wimbledon final, Novak Djokovic - who has won 47 of his 48 matches this year - will be announced world number one next week.   

However, Nadal's victory over Murray means the Spaniard will be given an early opportunity to remind Djokovic that he may only have a temporary lease on the number one spot as he chases an 11th grand slam title.

Regardless of who claims the Wimbledon crown, the Centre Court crowd can look forward to a battle between the world's two best players on Sunday. 

Volley good show

Two-time Australian Open champion Djokovic claimed a 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-7 (9), 6-3 win over Tsonga in an entertaining semi-final.  

Tsonga who knocked six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer out of the tournament on Wednesday delighted the crowd with his showmanship and athleticism.

Reaching the final at the All England Club was the relief Djokovic was looking for 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.

"I've been dreaming about playing the finals of Wimbledon since I started playing tennis when I was four"

Wimbledon finalist Novak Djokovic

Djokovic started the season by winning 41 straight matches, but he lost to Roger Federer in the French Open semi-finals. 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 four. To be able to be there on Sunday will probably be the best feeling."

Tsonga, however, didn't make this one easy.

The 12th-seeded Frenchman went to the turf several times to knock balls back over the net. After one of the best points of the tournament Tsonga turned to the Royal Box - which included former Wimbledon champions Bjorn Borg and Goran Ivanisevic - and stretched out his arms to roaring cheers.

English hopes crushed

Rafa Nadal delivered another command performance to withstand an early assault from a fired-up Andy Murray and beat the home favourite 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Nadal ended Murray's bid to become the first Briton to make the final in 75 years.

A dejected Murray wonders what he has to do to win his first grand slam [GALLO/GETTY] 

Fourth-seed Murray played a brilliant first set to get the Centre Court crowd buzzing but the Spaniard took it all in his stride and combining his remarkable big-match temperament and incredible consistency fought back for a fully-deserved victory.

It took him to his 13th grand slam final in which he will bid for his 11th major title and third at Wimbledon.

The victory continued the remarkable Wimbledon run of the Spaniard, whose last defeat in the tournament came in the 2007 final against Roger Federer.

Nadal won it in 2008, missed 2009 through injury but came back to triumph again last year after
also beating Murray in the semis.

"It's a dream to be back in the final," Nadal said in a televised interview.

"I feel sad for Andy. I think he deserved to be in the final. I wish him all the best for the rest of the year and the U.S. Open."

"I played very well to win against Andy. I need to play my best tennis. He's a great champion. To beat him the only way is to play really great shots. I did that today."

However, there was some good news for British tennis with Liam Broady reaching the boy's singles final by beating Australian Jason Kubler 6-4, 6-3.

The tennis world now awaits to see if Rafa Nadal will be able to avenge the imminent loss of his world number one ranking in the final on Sunday.

Source:
Agencies
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