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Djokovic, Tsonga to face off in AusOpen final


Rupha Ramani,CNN-IBN
Jan 26, 2008 at 08:30pm IST

Melbourne: It's a match that will leave a lot to imagination, when two first-time Australian Open finalists will face off at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.

Instead of seeing a certain Swiss world number one at a Grand Slam final, Serbia's Novak Djokovic and France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will dominate the court.

Though both are young and relatively inexperienced, they have proved themselves in the Grand Slam – Djokovic made it to the finals without dropping a single set, including his scintillating win over Roger Federer in the semi-finals.

TAKE HIM TO COURT: Men (AP Photo/Rick Stevens)

Djokovic had shocked everyone, including himself.

“I was more patient and I didn't allow him (Federer) to be aggressive and to play his style. So I was the one who was in the control of the match," Djokovic had said.

Australian Open 2008 is also the story of Jo-Wilfriend Tsonga, whose lone claim to fame was probably winning the US Open Juniors Title beating Marcos Baghdatis in 2003. After that, there was nothing on the radar until his semi-final match against Rafael Nadal.

"The ball come, I say, 'okay, I hit here'. And that's it," Tsonga modestly said.

The crowd had clearly known which way the wind was blowing after he wrenched away the first set.

"If I win in three sets it's perfect," Tsonga had said, and he had, beating the world number two – 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 – to reach the finals.

"I knew that I can play unbelievable (sic!)," an elated Tsonga had said. "But now I'm in final and I can win"

Tsonga’s opponent will be the man who destroyed the world number one.

"Maybe I will lose, maybe I will win. I don't know,” he says.

Djokovic has a wider perspective on the forthcoming game.

“I think it's great for the media, for tennis lovers all around the world, to see something new," he feels.

Tsonga’s view is purely on the end of the game: "We are both on the court, so one is the winner."

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