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Tsonga overpowers Djokovic to win Thai Open

©

Latest update : 2008-09-29

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Serbia's Novak Djokovic in straight sets (7-6, 6-4) to win the Thailand Open. The towering Frenchman thus took his revenge after losing to the world number 3 in the final of the Australian Open back in January.

 

Second-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won his maiden tour title after stunning top seed Novak Djokovic 7-6 6-4 at the Thailand Open on Sunday.

 

Tsonga exacted his revenge for his loss to Djokovic in this year's Australian Open final with a determined performance to deny the Serb his fourth title of the year.

 

The $576,000 Bangkok tournament was the hard-hitting Frenchman's second since returning from a three-month layoff following knee surgery.

 

"This win is very special, I've wanted this since I was young," Tsonga told reporters.

 

"This is a dream come true. I'm happy to win, Novak is a great player."

 

Tsonga, who burst on to the scene as an unseeded giant-killer at the Australian Open, said he had feared playing the world number three because he knew his game too well.

 

"I was nervous about playing him, it's difficult with my game," he said. "If you hit the ball hard at him, he hits it back harder.

 

"In tennis, you have to enjoy the moment. It's great to win at last and I want to win more and more."

 

Tsonga overcame a hail of topspin forehands from Djokovic, picking off the Serb with a combination of powerful serves and inch-perfect drop shots.

 

In a tight second set, Tsonga took control of the match when he broke Djokovic at 4-4 before staving off three break points.

 

Tsonga turned the game around and took it to match point. He forced the Serb into a desperate lob that landed beyond the baseline before clenching both fists and falling on to his back in celebration.

 

"I was thinking 'he cannot break me in this game'," Tsonga said with a smile. "This was my game."

Date created : 2008-09-28

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