Novak Djokovic wore down French opponent Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach his first Wimbledon finals, and at the same time crown himself the world number 1 in world tennis. Djokovic, whose year has been spectacular so far, what with his back-to-back defeats of former world number one Rafael Nadal, threw himself on the ground after the winning shot, before kneeling down the kiss the ground of the Wimbledon Centre Court.
The Serbian player was a virtual unknown two years ago, when it was Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer who battled it out in the major Grand Slams all over the world to occupy the number 1 seat. Djokovic only started to emerge as a formidable foe at the start of the year. This win crowns him as the new world number one, a realization that surely sent a whirlwind of emotions racing through the new champion’s head.
“Definitely one of the most important days of my life, you remember your entire career, all your childhood, everything you worked for that now comes true,” Djokovic said.
This victory also sets up his biggest battle yet, at the Wimbledon the finals where he is slated to face off against the player he dethroned, Rafael Nadal.
“Of course, for the No 1 spot to really mean something, I have to now win the title,” he said. “It’s something I’ve always dreamed of.”
Indeed, while Nadal’s greatness on the court seem to be unrivaled, even with a new man on the top spot, few people doubt that the Serb is the new man to beat. He had defeated Nadal in successive tournaments four times, including twice in clay, Nadal’s favorite surface. He will officially occupy the number 1 spot on Monday, the first player who is not Rafa or Federer to do so since Andy Roddick in 2004.