Novak Djokovic powered into his first Wimbledon final here on Friday with a four-set victory over France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga which ensured he will take over the World No.1 ranking.
The Serbian second seed downed the 12th seed Tsonga 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-7(9), 6-3.
The win also guarantees Djokovic will be named as the new World No.1 on Monday when the ATP Tour releases its latest rankings, the first time in seven years that neither Nadal nor Roger Federer has occupied top spot.
The 24-year-old had lost in five of his seven previous encounters against Tsonga, who had advanced to the last four with a stunning five-set quarterfinal victory over six-time champion Federer.
But despite a spirited third set fight-back from Tsonga, Djokovic maintained his composure to close out a deserved victory in seven minutes over the three-hour mark. Tsonga had seized the initiative early in the first set, breaking Djokovic in the opening game when the Serb sent a wild forehand long.
Djokovic had a point to break back immediately in the next game but Tsonga held to preserve his lead. Tsonga battled brilliantly to hold again in the sixth game, taking a 4-2 lead with a superb diving backhand volley at the net after a wonderful rally.
It looked as if Tsonga's early break would prove decisive, but with the Frenchman serving for the set in the 10th game, Djokovic hit back to level at 5-5 to help set up a tie-break.
Djokovic took three set points when an airy backhand from Tsonga drifted beyond the baseline, and the Serb converted the second when his opponent sunk a routine volley into the net.
Djokovic carried his momentum over into the second set, breaking Tsonga immediately and dictating play in a series of cleverly constructed exchanges from the baseline.
Tsonga's problems deepened in the fifth game when a volley flew too long to give Djokovic a double break for a 4-1 lead. Two more held service games gave Djokovic a two-set lead, leaving Tsonga needing to conjure up another unlikely escape act.
Djokovic looked to be on the cusp of victory after a break in the 11th game of the third set left him serving for the match. But Tsonga broke to love to force a tie-break, and then fought off two match points before a thunderous serve was sent long by Djokovic to take the match into a fourth set.
Yet Djokovic got back on track with an early break in the fourth set, and held his lead to seal victory.
Keywords: Wimbledon 2011