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Laying it all on the floor

sports Updated: Jul 02, 2011 01:34 IST
Highlight Story

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 (4) , 6-2, 6-7 (9), 6-3 victory on Friday.

"It's difficult to put into words, it's one of the best feelings I've ever had on the tennis court. My dreams are coming true, a first final at Wimbledon," the second seed said in a televised interview.

"I'm just going to celebrate and take some time but there is another match to come. I've been working all my life for this. I've been dreaming of this since I started playing tennis when I was four."

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.

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.

Nadal beats Murray
Rafael Nadal crushed Andy Murray’s Wimbledon dream in the semi-finals for the second successive year with an emphatic 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-4 victory on Friday.

The top seed and defending champion, who will face Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final, was outplayed by the fourth seed in the first set but he raised his game in the second and won seven games in a row to take control of the match.

Wimbledon final ticket could cost up to Rs 29 lakh
With the Wimbledon crowd anticipating a final with Andy Murray in it, Murraymania was at its peak before Murray's match against Rafael Nadal. The surge in passion could push the price of a single ticket to Rs 29 lakh. According to Daily Mail, one expert predicted a seat at the final fetching £40,000 by Sunday. A cricket fan, last April, had reportedly forked out Rs 1.5 lakh to watch the India-Sri Lanka World Cup final in Mumbai.

Big betting
Meanwhile, away from the swelling queues for tickets, a punter walked into William Hill's central London branch and wagered their biggest ever Wimbledon bet - a 1:2 bet of £140,000 ( Rs 1 crore approx) on Nadal to beat Murray. The punter also placed a £51,000 ( R37 lakh) bet at 5:4 on Maria Sharapova winning the women's crown. If he wins both the bets, the punter will collect £324,750 (R2.36 crore), for a cool crore.