Tsonga beats Djokovic for first title
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:03
Tsonga, who made his return from knee surgery at the US Open after a three month absence, becomes the ninth first-time ATP title winner this season, matching the achievements of Kei Nishikori (Delray Beach), Sergiy Stakhovsky (Zagreb), Sam Querrey (Las Vegas), Marcel Granollers (Houston), Victor Hanescu (Gstaad), Juan Martin del Potro (Stuttgart), Albert Montanes (Amersfoort) and Marin Cilic (New Haven).
“I feel great, it’s got to be one of the best moments of my life,” the 23-year-old said.
“I just played unbelievable tennis against Novak and it was just my dream so I’m really happy.”
Tsonga, who is ranked 20 in the world, trailed Djokovic 3-4 in the first set with the Serbian holding a break advantage.
But Tsonga rallied with two straight games to lead 5-4 and went on to clinch the tie-break 7-4.
A break of serve in the ninth game of the second set handed Tsonga a 5-4 lead and, after saving two break points, he closed out the victory.
“(It came down to) maybe a couple of points,” Tsonga said. “The last game was very hard and I was just saying in my head “Go On! Do It!” so it was incredible.
“I was not nervous (about the match), I was just a little bit nervous about Novak because he has played just unbelievably and, for me, it’s difficult to play against him because I have a really good serve and I think one of the best parts of his game is the return.”