Djokovic reaches first Wimbledon final

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in their semi-final...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in their semi-final match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London July 1, 2011. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

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, Last Updated: 2:24 PM ET

High-flying Serbian star Novak Djokovic secured a berth in his first career Wimbledon final on Friday and is now also the new No. 1 player in the world.

The second-seeded Djokovic defeated 12th-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-7 (9-11), 6-3 in the first men's semifinal on Centre Court at the All England Club. It marked a rematch of the 2008 Australian Open finale, which was also won by the super Serb.

Djokovic now awaits the Rafael Nadal-Andy Murray winner.

Three of the top-four players in the world are part of the Day-11 schedule -- the top-ranked Nadal, No. 2 Djokovic and No. 4 Murray.

Win or lose here in Sunday's final, Djokovic will be the new No. 1 star for the first time in his career, supplanting the reigning Wimbledon, French Open and U.S. Open champion Nadal

"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."

"It's hard to express your emotions in a very short time but hopefully some more celebrations are about to come," Djokovic added.

Djokovic and Tsonga went to a tiebreak in the first set, which the Serb won without issue.

A deflated Tsonga was then flattened by Djokovic in a lopsided second, as the Serb broke to open the stanza and broke again for a 4-1 lead en route to a two-sets-to-love advantage.

Tsonga, however, fought back in the third set, which featured no less than four service breaks, including a key one by Tsonga which sent the stanza into a tiebreak.

In the extra session, Tsonga staved off two match points, the first with an overhead smash winner, and the second with a booming ace. The Frenchman took the tiebreak to force a fourth set when Djokovic misfired long on a forehand return.

The fourth set was dominated by Djokovic. He broke for a 2-0 lead and was ahead 3-0 before Tsonga held serve to get on the board.

Five games later it was over, as Djokovic converted on his third match point of the day when Tsonga sent one final forehand return wide after 3 hours, 7 minutes of quality tennis.

A clean Djokovic tallied only one double fault and 13 unforced errors, while Tsonga wound up with 29 errors and had his big serve broken six times. Djokovic was broken three times.

The two-time Australian Open champion Djokovic, who is now 5-7 in his career major semifinals, is now 3-5 lifetime against Tsonga, including a 2-1 record in Grand Slam play.

Djokovic is now an amazing 47-1 this year and has won 49 of his last 50 matches overall dating back to last season, including leading his beloved Serbia to its first-ever Davis Cup title in December.

The 24-year-old Djokovic already owns a whopping seven titles this year. His lone 2011 loss came against Roger Federer in the French Open semifinals last month, which halted a 43-match winning streak by the Serb.

Tsonga came back from two-sets-to-love down here on Wednesday to stun the third-seeded six-time Wimbledon champion Federer in a quarterfinal affair. Federer had been an astounding 178-0 when winning the first two sets of a Grand Slam match.

The 26-year-old Tsonga, who fell to 10-3 on grass this season, competed in the third Grand Slam semifinal of his career (1-2). He was trying to become the first Frenchman to capture Wimbledon since Yvon Petra back in 1946.

Djokovic will now appear in his 39th career ATP-level final, seeking a 26th championship. The 6-foot-3 Belgrade native is 7-0 in his 2011 finals, including a major title in Melbourne and big Masters wins in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome.


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